Looking For Loopholes

by Andrew Anselmo

If you have read or seen Guy McPherson, Dmitry Orlov, John Michael Greer, James Howard Kunstler, Richard Heinberg, Chris Martenson, James Hansen; seen the film “What A Way To Go: Life At the End Of Empire”, or spoken at length with anyone else who has brought up the issues of Peak Oil, environmental degradation, rising CO2 levels, the melting of the Arctic, release of methane from the tundra and clathrates, you know the score. We are in for one helluva ride, and it most likely will be unpleasant. The range of estimated unpleasantness varies, as to the source, but all in all, the current way of life (at least for Americans, or those accustomed to the traditional American automobile-centered way of life) will change drastically in the next years and decades. We wind up with either Kunstler’s World Made By Hand, Greer’s Star’s Reach, or simply ‘lights out’, as put forth by Guy McPherson. The Popular Mechanics/Star Trek future we’ve all been told isn’t going to happen, at least certainly not for a majority of the world’s population. If you need any convincing, check Professor Albert Bartlett’s YouTube talks on the exponential function. Any system predicated on infinite growth cannot last forever.

The one solution that might, as posited by Guy and others (just might!) save some shred of humanity is an economic collapse, brought on by the collapse of industrial civilization. Luckily(!), this does seem possible; Nicolas Taleb, Jeremy Grantham, and a small but growing host of others in the financial world (as well as those above) see that the infinite growth paradigm cannot be sustained, and at some point, the music will stop, and things will get, as they say, “interesting.”

Some posit that ‘free energy’ (as mentioned in the film ‘Thrive’) will save our bacon, but as noted by Rob Hopkins in his excellent review, this doesn’t solve the underlying problem. In the film ‘Thrive’, it mentions that the lack of energy is what is an impediment to most of the world being better. I admit, I once thought energy was at the core of our problems too. But Hopkins’ review at Transition Culture correctly vilifies this, as have so many others — we’ve had free energy and we haven’t done anything good with it in the long term. The film also mentions that we really don’t have scarcity, and this is ridiculous. The film tends to ignore climate change, and the long list of peer-reviewed literature on its reality.

Thrive’s main ‘deus ex machina’ is the possibility of free energy, but this tends to put the cart before the horse. Before implementing these technologies, society would need to evolve first, and not expect free energy, anti-gravity, easy space travel, or any other technological fix (even renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind) to save us. In the end, we will still have an infinite growth paradigm, and this is the essence of what is killing us. As clever as we are, it may be that we are just a tad too clever and rapacious, and Homo sapiens may be just a evolutionary cul-de-sac, due to this very trait. Even economic collapse, which might save the world, will still leave us, with our genetic predisposition towards more growth. Our clever brains, matched with our more base instincts to consume, expand, and populate will lead us right back to where we started. This may be difficult, as our fossil fuels will be practically gone, and going back to a steady state world will be our only option — using the power of the sun and its derivatives, and human/animal labor. If we were to discover (although unlikely) ‘free energy’ in an energy constrained future, this would simply ‘kick the can down the road’, until some other resource limit would stop us.

Of course, many would want to find a way to have our life continue onwards. Hot showers, electricity, good dentistry, ease of access to information are all things that make life pleasant, at least in the physical sense. Industrial civilization has some nice perks, but it tends to destroy everything else in the process. Not such a great tradeoff.

Like a scholar going through the Talmud, my thought was to find a loophole in the phrase, “terminate industrial civilization,” so we could continue to have some of these things, without destroying the planet. Who doesn’t want hot showers and good dentistry? The phrase ‘industrial civilization’ is linked my mind (and possibly to yours) to smokestacks, neat gadgets, near-instant communication and of course, inexorable, onward and upward growth. If it was possible, however, to have some sort of technology that was highly regulated, or in steady state — could this save us? Could we exist with technology, but without growth, without expanding? This flies in the face of everything we know about the way most of us work as individuals, and as a society. One might think that we’d actually have to quite literally evolve genetically to a “homo sapiens stabilis,” a species more attuned to longer range, steady-state thinking.

The mutation that gave rise to our greedy and ever-consuming nature is the kind that pushed out steadier thought processes. So, what does this mean for us? Although there may be some outliers, it may be that genetically, as a species, we are currently incapable of holding ourselves back.

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Andrew Anselmo was trained as a mechanical engineer and has worked on Wall Street in financial derivatives and in the renewable energy sector on solar and wind systems. He tries to avoid cognitive dissonance as much as possible.
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McPherson’s latest essay for the Good Men Project was posted today. It’s here.

Comments 163

  • It ain’t over ’til its over. No one knows for sure what the future holds. Perhaps we will yet accept a way of living that makes it possible for us to ovecome genetic predispositions. {See the peer-reviewed article, “Genetic Feedback and Human Population Regulation” by Russell P. Hopfenberg, PhD). I like the idea of “looking for loopholes”. Somehow we have got to do many things differently, do them much more ably,
    and do all of them simultaneously, collaboratively and fast. Ready or not,
    like it or not, as the NBL community knows already we are presented with a planetary emergency. This is the time
    for making necessary behavioral changes by thinking globally and acting
    locally. Science and common sense will give us direction. What we cannot do
    is sit on the sidelines. No, we cannot afford to sit this one out. All hand
    are needed on the deck at this critical moment in the history of our
    planetary home. Our generation is simply not stepping up to the challenges
    before us. The consequences of our failures appear colossal and profound
    with regard to the prospects for future human well being and environmental
    health. The very last thing a responsible person is to do in such
    circumstances is consciously and deliberately choose to remain silent, I
    believe. Are we not participants in and witnesses to yet another
    preposterous failure of nerve? When are the leaders going to speak out in an
    intellectually honest way and act with a sense of moral courage? How
    terrible are things going to have to become on Earth before
    the-powers-that-be begin to talk about and do the right things, according to
    the lights and best available knowledge they possess? Whatsoever is real and
    true must be acknowledged if we are to respond ably to climate
    destabilization, pollution, biodiversity loss, resource dissipation,
    environmental degradation and overpopulation,but the manufactured ‘nothing
    is wrong’ reality is well-established and those who speak truth to power
    are consistently marginalized and ignored. It is difficult even to imagine
    how much can be done in such unfavorable circumstances. Still our efforts
    are vital because the-powers-that-be are living in a fool’s paradise, and
    the stakes are such that the things that are not being acknowledged will
    likely destroy life as we know it on Earth. We know how to stop
    overpopulation humanely.The gravity of this and other looming human-driven
    global threats are understood and could be confronted with a long overdue
    determination to do what is necessary. All of the world’s human resources,
    including overrated intelligence and technology, need to be deployed in
    order to overcome the emerging and converging wicked problems looming
    ominously on the horizon. The-powers-that-be could save the world if they
    acted with the intellectual honesty, moral courage and power they possess to
    sound alarm bells, forcefully warn the world, and call out loudly and
    clearly for changes toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate
    enterprises. But most of the necessary changes are unlikely to happen,
    The-powers-that-be want to maintain the status quo, come what may. They lack
    the moral courage and the imagination to save the world as a fit place for habitation by children everywhere and coming
    generations.

  • Not “quite” a poem as to “not quite being able to hold ourselves back”:

    (Daily excess heat absorbed by Earth equals the heat released by 345,600 Hiroshima bombs, or four bombs every second).

    Four Hiroshima’s every second, they say.

    Just one ‘Little Boy’ instantly killed 66,000 people…by the way.

    Times four that would be 64 kilotons (64,000 metric tons of TNT every second).

    Four Hiroshima’s is equivalent to 141,092,000 pounds of TNT.

    Just one kiloton of TNT is a cube of 8.46 metres (27.8 ft) on a side.

    Four a second, would be a square of TNT with sides 1,779 feet as wide as it is tall.

    The Empire State building is only 1,454 feet tall.

    264,000 people killed instantly if such horrors were reenacted, though we have a history of having overreacted.

    For us American’s that be, 70,546 tons of TNT.

    The Titanic only weighed 52,000 tons, not including band members or the songs they sung.

    The average car weighs 4,000 pounds.

    The equivalent weight of 26,000 cars at an average length, if stood end on end, would stand 481,000 feet; 91 miles.

    The TNT weight of 91 miles of cars stacked end on end exploding every second.

    An adult Blue Whale weighs 180 metric tons; 396,000 pounds.

    The TNT weight of 356 Blues whales, exploding every second.

    2,000 pounds of TNT has a blast radius of 400 feet. It would level a city block, every second around the clock.

    Now imagine a blast radius over 70,000 time bigger
    …….happening every second, it’s all rather hard to figure.

    The average human weighs 189.9 pounds, which would renders us 742,980 people at an average male height of 70 inches.

    The equivalent weight of TNT would be 820 miles of men standing on each others heads¸ over two hundred miles above weather satellites exploding every second into space. Now, there’s a race.

    Our world is rather large, and we don’t yet feel the holocaust, so our love still flowers much the same, but then again, we don’t live in the sea……..this is the science of climate change you see.

    This is happening, as it has happen before. You might want to start mouthing your goodbyes.

  • Short answer re: is there a loophole? No. The human is as it is, and acceptance of that has been the basis of most philosophical thinking for a long time. We can aspire to become “better” buy by and large we’d rather put a tip in the alms bowl and get on with our day. We live at the peak – of energy, credit constructs, communications, you name it, it’s never been as cheap or easy. Enjoy that, since as my old man, a German economist who’s thesis in 1921 concerned limits to coal production in the Ruhr Valley, always said, “It will never last.” Nothing does.

  • Hi Steve. Can we call you Steve? I know that it must be mind-boggeling to you that more people don’t “Get it.” Can I ask, how old are you? Have you ever stood for a cause before? I ask these questions because, almost word for word your essay echoes many of my concerns as an anti-war activist since the 1960s. WHY CAN’T THEY CARE!!!:(

    It’s crushingly heartbreaking when only three people turn out to protest the firebombing of civilians by your overwhelmingly powerful and greedy country. I can easily understand your heartbreak in seeing the people of the world just standing by while, in essence, they are calling down firebombs on themselves.

    Should we protest now or should we wait and join our brothers and sisters in the streets when the food starts to run out? Obviously, it would be better to take to the streets NOW! But it would have to be something really big, like what Ghandi did in India. It would have to be non-violent or it would fail (lots of cluster bombs lying around AND the scumbags to drop them!). If something is going to save us it better start soon!

    I was enthralled by the Occupy Movement! One day I got home from work and my daughter was visiting. We talked about Occupy and the next thing we knew, we were on our way to join a large march scheduled for that afternoon by Occupy Tampa! Wow, it was great! There were about 500 of us, mostly students. We marched through the financial district and took over the steps of the old county court house, waving signs and chanting slogans! I saw my first Guy Fawkes mask that day! Nobody going home from their office jobs even gave us the time of day. The cops even acted like we weren’t even there. Just a slight nuisance.

    Steve, if there is a Book of Life, maybe we’ll get a few good check marks next to our names, just for giving a shit. And if that’s the best we can do, it’s one hell of a lot better than most.

  • Mr Anselmo
    If we are mindlessly driven by our genes to consume, expand, and populate, then there is one hugely significant example where humans are failing their genetics. As a society increases its energy use, its birth rate decreases. Comfortable, prosperous, energy rich people are for some reason resisting this genetic drive that is so basic to biological life. If your genetic theory of growth is true, than just the opposite should be occurring, these high energy use countries should have the highest birth rates, yet they don’t. Something is wrong here, very wrong. You say growth can’t be controlled except through genetic mutation, and yet birth rates in 1st world countries have plummeted, something that flies in the face of irresistible genetically driven growth. Have we missed some astonishing genetic mutation that has taken place in the wealthy countries?

  • If our genes compel humans to destroy the planet, a decreasing birth rate in the West is not inconsistent behavior. Fewer kids, more time to consume stuff. Fu**ed either way.

  • I disagree with the idea that it’s our genes which compel us to be unsustainable for different reasons than Ripley.

    Ripley, the populations in some of the more ‘developed’ (ie. more destroyed) nations of the world is down to the fact that other factors than the availability of food started limiting the birth rate. As Ken Barrows indicates, people in the rich ‘west’ need more time to consume, and to be able to do that, they have to work more leaving less time for children, and moreover, children are a financial burden in western cultures rather than a cheap aid to raise the family income as in ‘developing’ (ie. still learning how to destroy) nations. However, those western nations do still do all they can to up the production of food, but instead of only feeding the local population, much of it is shipped off to those developing nations which have already so far outgrown the carrying capacity of the land they live on that they can’t manage without import or even food aid. The overproduction of the west then meets the cultures where children are financial assets, and instead of feeding hungry people, the food feeds population growth. And so even though the growth in the western nations might be slowing down, those nations and the people in them still very directly contribute to a growing global population. More on this in an article I wrote a while back: http://largerpicture.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/the-immorality-of-increasing-production-in-salmon-farms-and-the-rest-of-the-food-industry/

    The reason why I disagree with the idea that the genes of Homo sapiens are responsible for the destructiveness of the species is in that I don’t agree that the whole species is destructive. For more than 99% of human history, humans have lived sustainably as a participating important part of the community of all life, just like all other species. Even to this day there are cultures which live in this fashion: the non-civilised cultures.

    The reason that civilised humans are inherently unsustainable and destructive is not due to their genome, but to the culture they live in. Release a pack of wolves in an enclosed pen with a hundred cattle, and chances are that they will kill the whole herd, even though they need only a fraction for food, giving rise to the misinterpretation that wolves are bloodthirsty mindless killers. Release a hundred cattle into wolf country and the pack will likely only take what they need. The trick is in the confinement being like a change in culture. It is unnatural for wolves to have prey confined in that way. Usually an attacked herd will flee and spread and when one kill is made, the herd is so far away that the wolves don’t even have the opportunity for mad bloodlust. It is not an inherrent part of them. But confine the prey, and the wolves will constantly see potential prey in a completely unnatural way, and in this extremely odd situation they may go into literal ‘overkill’.

    Industrial civilisation is like that confinement: it changes the situation in such a way for people, who under natural circumstances are a sustainable and valuable species for the rest of the community of life, that behaviour is rewarded and promoted which makes them into inherently unsustainable animals.

    To make humans sustainable again, if there is still time (I doubt it more and more, although that is not a good enough reason not to fight for it), we don’t have to genetically modify us, but simply throw overboard the culture of civilisation.

  • Thanks for the well reasoned responses. My thesis could be wrong, of course! The commentary here is refreshing.

    Good points about us living in steady state for many years. Perhaps our genetic makeup was fine, but the discovery of fossil fuels *leading* to a turbocharged industrial civilization (could we have one without the other?) was the trigger. But this might be quibbling over details.

    There was an interesting experiment on domesticating foxes; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox ; it took a few generations to breed tame foxes. One wonders how much industrial civilization “bred” us for consumption. If industrial civilization is a change in the environment, then perhaps that has ‘selected’ for certain traits that are being expressed.

    More food for thought.

  • All tools wear out.

  • I totally agree with the evidence that economic development brings a lower birth rate.
    That is totally true for my country (Chile), our current rate of bith is 1.8, below 2.3 that is considered the minimal value to ensure at least a constant population. Our government is very worried, by the way.
    The point is that this situation is as bad as the other side of the coin.
    I believe that this situation is not a matter of genetics, and the same conclusion applies to the other sins (“consume, expand”). It is more a matter of learning, a matter of culture.
    I believe that nothing is in our genetics that we cannot control, except for some very-very basic instincts (that we need). We have to learn to live, that means all the rest, as opposed to animals that have everything already programmed in what we call instinct.
    And so far we have been taught by our culture to consume and expand, and recently to avoid having children.
    As I pointed out in one of my previous posts, we have to learn how to live in perfect equilibrium with the ecosystem. Something that we haven´t been able to do, so far.

  • “Throw away the cars, the bars and the wars” (Hoyt Axton)
    That would be a good first step. We could stop manufacturing everything that makes it easy to kill people, and then take stock from there.
    Adopt a vegan diet, or as close as possible to it. Release farm animals into the wild. Ruminating on collapse is unhealthy and depressing. There are many positive things we could do, and even if they turn out to not make a difference, we should do them anyway.

  • @ Arthur Sevestre
    August 18th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Outstandingly astute perception, sir. However, that is not to say that genetic composition is irrelevant. Everything is much more complex than most humans can imagine. Of course, each individual is not entirely to “blame” for their own stupidity ignorance. The system of compartmentalized “learning/thinking” was a deliberate construct to create relatively capable cogs for “the machine.” Feudalism never ended and it began much earlier than we have been led to believe. Nonetheless, when one considers that certain individuals actually seek to achieve and maintain power/control over others in the context that many of those others do, in fact, give “selflessly,” cooperatively, of their time and abilities I, at least, have to suspect some form of “malevolent” genetic mutation, e.g. the psychopathic parasites that are referred to as “captains of industry” or “titans of finance” or “politicians” or “doctors.” I suppose it was “bound to happen” as genetic mutations are, after all, at the “heart” of evolution. Some of those mutations have led inexorably to dead ends since “life” began. Alas, I am certain that all of that is irrelevant at this “stage of the game.” The “sleeping giant” has awakened and its incomprehensibly immense forces are mustering to decimate the bipedal irritants that disturbed it. The proverbial “fork” has been stuck.

  • My greatest pleasure throughout life has ben dealing with scarcity. It’s not just that art training helps greatly toward seeing beauty in humble things and doing more with less. It started long before that.

    When I was around 12, I picked up all the cigarette butts around the yard, tore them apart and put the tobacco into spliff-like paper and gave them to the workers, little knowing the harm I was doing.

    The ways to deal with extreme scarcity are all out there, often perverted by the capitalist ethic. For instance, take shabby chic. Jeans torn at the knees, which occurs naturally with long wear, get absurdly commodified for sale at The Gap. And then next year they are out of fashion.

    Wherever there are still peasants, enter their homes and observe simple elegance. No money for huge windows. Shadowy interiors, neutral colors, shade from trees that nestle their small, unobtrusive structures.

    There was my grandfathers printing office, where moveable type was painstakingly arranged, where massive, dark presses clanged and workers magically moved one sheet and inserted the next before the next clang could come down on their fingers. No electricity needed. All done with foot pedals–a tad more complex than walking while chewing gum…

    There was a spare, hard beauty in that world, which coexisted organically with nearby soft rural settings. Food was abundant. The peasant men were nearly twice the size of their grandsons today.

    Back then, was it that everybody had enough to eat and knew their place in society, or was it about inequality, class hierarchy and quasi slavery? Both maybe? But today we can CHOOSE to have the simple beauty, the simple but fine technology, while eschewing the sick classism, while maintaining our sophisticated minds and extensive learning.

    There’s convenience, simple comfort, and wonder out there, if we can just throw off the yoke of capitalist excess and misdirection. We don’t need new sources of energy nearly as much (in fact, not at all)as we do aesthetic enlightenment.

  • While human extinction appears to be locked in by anthropomorphic environmentally destructive feedback loops and the inertia in social/political/wealth controlled mass media systems… A discussion of the positive directions humans should be pursing would include: lifestyle simplification and population reduction. However, both are taboo considerations throughout Industrial Civilization. Many aware people have been bollixed in attempts to get through to those thoroughly under the spell of IC. Addictions come with blinders of intoxication. Addicts rarely break to full awareness prior to rock bottom personal crises. Waiting for full acknowledgement of the global environmental crisis assures Mass and Human Extinction. Without a way to short circuit around awareness-via-crisis, the 6th Great Extinction will proceed unabated, at least until we are gone. It is sobering to ask ourselves: What percentage of all the species on Earth will die before the carnage stops? …and imagine what it would look like, and take responsibility. Also ask: (besides “Is it too late?”) Is there any way to break this addiction? Is it possible to compound an antidote?

  • Techno-Narcissism is a term that has been used to describe an unreasonable faith that technology will provide all and solve all problems. Like jungle bushmen waiting for tobacco and trinkets to drop from magic sky birds we wait for the cargo cult of technology go to bless us with life saving miracles. We pray for technology to hide our irresponsible ways.

    It must be a characteristic of man to attribute supernatural abilities and powers to that which we don’t understand.

    Technology, technology is a wooden stick with which to fish termites from rotting logs. Technology is a large rock with which to smash open nuts.

    Technology is nothing more than the use of tools to get a job done. Tools which are part of the physical world and which obey physical laws. Technology is nothing new, Technology is human it defines what we are. Without technology we would be naked apes, that’s all.

    The unsustainability of exponential growth and the unreasonable worship of technology have something in common. Belief in technology and continued growth as the solution to problems are both brain dead attempts to solve problems without doing anything, beyond lazy.

    Technical solutions to overcome and dominate problems are always sought. Crush, kill, destroy a problem that’s what’s wanted. To understanding and accommodating problems is contrary to the way people have been taught to think.

    We dream incessantly of a ‘magic bullet’ even if it doesn’t exist. To change ourselves and the way we live is never considered. We prefer to believe in magic and cultivate irrational hope to facing up to problems head on. Any desire to facing a problem head on waits for someone else to show the way.

    This is the way most of us are. It is not a mater of being ignorant. It is about how we are wired to think. It is about how human problems have been solved for thousands of years. It worked in worlds without limits because substitution was always an option.

    No longer!

    “The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”

  • Instead of the question, “Is it too late?”, I prefer the statement,”It is too late.”

    Focus at 7:47,Listen closely and Watch her expression.

    I’m waiting for the next International Arctic Research Center report.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/31/artic-methane-catastrophe-empirical-evidence

  • ‘it took a few generations to breed tame foxes. One wonders how much industrial civilization “bred” us for consumption. If industrial civilization is a change in the environment, then perhaps that has ‘selected’ for certain traits that are being expressed.’ -mr. anselmo

    civilization’s been around for way more than a few generations, and i believe it has undoubtedly had genetic implications, as i’ve opined b4. civilized societies are hierarchical with few chiefs, many followers. in order to be a good follower, it helps not to think or question too much. those who do so tend to be ‘troublemakers’, persecuted, outcasts less likely to reproduce.

  • More Frequent Heat Waves by 2020 ‘Almost Certain’

    “Climate change is set to trigger more frequent and severe heat waves in the next 30 years regardless of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we emit into the atmosphere, a new study has shown…..Extreme heat waves such as those that hit the US in 2012 and Australia in 2009 – dubbed three-sigma events by the researchers – are projected to cover double the amount of global land by 2020 and quadruple by 2040.”

    http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=133606&CultureCode=en

  • I don’t agree that people are specially adapted for rapacious greed. Growth is a fundamental quality in all life. Every living thing is tasked with its own growth and that of its species. Every species will fill its niche as far as resources allow. This is not just fundamental but the most ancient and mindless attribute of life. Eating and procreating. Converting resources into more of ourselves.

    The only difference is that we are extremely good at it. We are the ultimate omnivore since we eat everything. There is nothing on earth that people do not exploit in some way.

    The human attribute of which we are all most proud is our intelligence. This is could (have?) save(d) us. The tragedy of human history may be this failure to use our proud minds.

    I’ve been wondering for some time where our species crossed the line into dangerous unsustainability. I guess it is (pretty obviously) our use of fossil fuels.

    It would be interesting to speculate on the path of human society without an industrial revolution. No doubt we would have filled the planet, cut down every tree and suffered repeated Malthusian famines but … Our species might have survived for a very long time.

  • Steve-

    Good point; every living thing is set up for growth, and every living thing has an adaptation that allows it to grow. For us, we got intelligence. Yet coupled with an abundance of cheap fossil fuel, it has gotten us into trouble. Perhaps a combination of intelligence *and* a tendency towards long term thinking *and* a tendency towards cognitive dissonance is the crux of the issue, and this thesis should be modified accordingly.

    In the classic ‘yeast in a beaker’ experiment, yeast (given the yeast equivalent of fossil fuel) will overshoot a steady state population.

    Intelligence per se, or cheap fossil fuels per se, may not be the problem; just the combination. Perhaps even cognitive dissonance, the way our very minds work, is at the root of this. If cognitive dissonance was a rare thing, troubling information/data that would appear wouldn’t be ignored. Would/do other intelligent species have cognitive dissonance?

    More food for thought. Again, thanks for all the commentary.

  • The big boogeyman in the room is Industrial Civilization. Sure, there’s greed, stupidity and several other factors, but the thing to get rid of is Industrial Civilization. From comments we know that “we don’t have to genetically modify us, but simply throw overboard the culture of civilization” as well as “stop manufacturing everything that makes it easy to kill people, and then take stock from there.”

    Once those tiny details are taken care of,

  • Oops!

    Once those tiny details are taken care of, there’s only “learn how to live in perfect equilibrium with the ecosystem.” and devolving an “aesthetic enlightenment.”

    Taken all together, does anyone grasp just how screwed we are? So far, it has been impossible to get people to stop drinking bottled water, but we’re going to somehow stop Industrial Civilization — as peacefully as possible, because who wants to overcome an Empire with violence and hard feelings?

    I have decided to raise the $150 million it takes to run for the US presidency. Once elected, I will be a forceful, honest leader with a bold new plan for the future that happens to include shutting down Industrial Civilization. Can I count on your votes?

    Can we stop the dreaming? The options are clear: we either sit back and watch the world fall apart, or we get down and dirty and fight against a system that will surely kill us before it dies itself. I don’t think there are any inbetweens. Sort of a give me death, or give me death a little bit later option.

  • NOT ALL HUMANS have the same infantile traits as industrialized humans! There have been human societies that existed within their habitats for thousands of years without destroying their resource base, without exceeding carrying capacity, and without losing their sanity and integrity over novelty.

    Our folk, industrialized Caucasians (white people), come from a lineage of fractious, restless humans who seem to have identity problems, judging from the history of the Caucasus region, which “has been an arena for political, military, religious, and cultural rivalries and expansionism for centuries.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasus

    Thus, it was the greedy expansionism of Western Civ’s empire building that has driven steady-state indigenous cultures to extinction – some of the finest have been snuffed out within my own lifetime (which is evidently considerably longer than Andrew Anselmo’s).

    Andrew seems to want to have his cake (technology) and eat it too (preserve the natural world). That appears to be the loophole he’s looking for. As an ecocentrist, I think he’s making some logical mistakes. He asks, “Could we exist with technology, but without growth, without expanding?” And he suggests, “we’d actually have to quite literally evolve genetically to a “homo sapiens stabilis,” a species more attuned to longer range, steady-state thinking.” I don’t think it’s our genes, it’s our cultural worldview that is the problem – and the capitalistic component of that worldview in particular.

    I think it’s high time that people from our immature culture stopped extrapolating from our own shortcomings to assume that our species (homo sapiens sapiens) cannot live wisely and in harmony with Nature. Maybe industrialized humans will not be able to survive the collapse of industrial civilization. But there could well be human beings capable of surviving that collapse if there is any intact wilderness left by the time our civilization is through. I don’t have a lot of hope in that, considering the uncontrollable radiation now spewing out of Fukushima. But I would like for our species to learn the lessons that our current age of Karmageddon offers and to survive on Mama Gaia with greater wisdom.

    The ‘loophole,’ as I see it, is to abandon hope in technology and place our hope in ecological literacy and love for the Earth and all her more perfected species (older and more perfect than industrialized humans). The very saddest thing about being alive right now is not the impending loss of civilized comforts, but the loss of glorious species that humans are driving to extinction.

  • Jason said, “Ruminating on collapse is unhealthy and depressing. There are many positive things we could do, and even if they turn out to not make a difference, we should do them anyway.”

    With each new essay, the Wailing Wall finds a new location where thought experiments and lamentations abound. Judging from the posts, each of us apparently has different ways of emotionally dealing with NTE. Perhaps the Wailing Wall is an important coping mechanism in a situation for which there are no solutions. However, doing the right thing makes us feel good and there’s nothing wrong with that. Hope springs eternal.

  • @Steve

    Which “powers that be” are you referring to? Western elite, Eastern elite?! Which faction?

    Many influential individuals have pushed for sustainable development, aka “agenda 21”. It’s been so unpopular and has sprawled out insane conspiracy theories, that the names have changed several times to things like, “smart growth”.

    Nobody is sitting on the sidelines. People are all doing what they feel and think they can or should. That seems to simply conflict with what you believe they can and should.

    The more we attempt to push “sustainable development” the more people feel they are being attacked, and fight back. The majority see small bits of the problem, and attempt to find their own solutions, even if that means simply giving in/up. The few who see the problems as they are, either are in no position to cause macrosocial/cultural changes, else are having very little success.

    There will be adaptations by groups as the process continues, but they will be smaller groups who choose to go against the flow. There’s no good reason to think that any “powers that be” could get a handle of the situation as it is. The best they can do is provide “bread and circuses” and attempt to keep the party going a while yet.

    I know wealthy people who tackle what they can, and do their best. Plenty of good people out there, but few who can cause enough of a sustainable torrent to wash away the ignorant foul of the weak minded.

  • Defeating limits has led to where we are. Sticks & stones to augment our limbs in hunting and gathering. Fire to augment our stomachs for rendering foods more digestible. Agriculture and animal husbandry to augment gathering and hunting of useful plants and animals by providing surpluses of these for lean seasons and lean years. Burning buried sunshine to augment human and animal muscle and fire. Clothing & shelter to exclude the weather. Found loopholes in the limits and drove convoys of Mack trucks right through them.

    Sooner or later, we were bound to come up on insurmountable limits: finitude of resources, and finitude of biological and physical system resilience in absorbing disruptive forces. So here we are, starting to get eff’d big time.

  • There would be no need for the 10 Commandments if we were not predisposed to disobey them.

    It seems it is our nature to be “good” sometimes and “evil” sometimes.

    I guess if we could all just be left alone, all would be well. Pretty much all I ever wanted all my life was to be left alone!

    I cannot help but be amazed at the folks here that still hold out hope that something can be done. People who think that NTE can be stopped are just not living in reality. and, people who say we MUST resist because it’s the Right Thing To Do are just like the bad neighbors who write letters to the county commissioners that the crabgrass in your yard is bringing down the neighborhood’s property values.

    I have no car, no house, no air conditioner, no nothing. I have no “stuff.” My resistance is to quit being a consumer. But, I have no illusions that it will make any difference.

    I’ve been reading NBL for a long, long time now. I still have not seen any coherent Plan of Action that will actually work from ANY of the resistance movement people.

    The Solution:
    90% of the population needs to die,
    but first they must help us dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization.
    the survivors must live in concert with Nature, plant no crops, build no cities.

    But, the bad news is: it’s already too late even for The Solution.

    The Solution is not going to happen, just like there was no way for those on the Titanic to stop the boat from sinking. She’s sinking.

    We’re sunk.

    The resisters want us all to grab a coffee can and start bailing – well, for me, I’ve got better things to do than that! I’d rather lie down in the grass and watch the clouds roll by, and that will make about as much impact as your resisters with their coffee cans.

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

  • “NOT ALL HUMANS have the same infantile traits as industrialized humans! There have been human societies that existed within their habitats for thousands of years without destroying their resource base, without exceeding carrying capacity, and without losing their sanity and integrity over novelty.” Having spent a lot of time in Asia, Africa and a little time in some of the stone age island communities of Micronesia, I’d agree. Though given the option, in most cases – unless there is iron clad rule by a local chief who prevents it – these communities will quickly accept “modern” lifestyle amenities, like a generator and a DVD player TV that shows them almost magical lifestyles elsewhere … which almost immediately changes their self images for the worse. To have access to the environment that allows reading this blog and commenting on it means one is not living in a stone age community and is part of the problem. Advocating the end of the insanity of the industrial era – which you live within if you’re reading this – is insane itself, since all of your insane neighbors will really go crazy and life will be hell. Short, but hell. I recognize Guy’s motivations in leading the call for an end to industrial economy, but actually doing this would be no different than going extinct by the natural causes industrial society has invoked. The ecology of the industrial world is required to support the people living within it. Rapid change of the ecology would end most of the people. We screwed, ok? Accept it, and be kind to your kids, who you screwed by having them.

  • Suzanne – hence the title of the essay; there *isn’t* a loophole for the way things are now, of course. If your system is predicated on infinite growth, well of course, *no*, there isn’t a loophole. Not all humans share the same traits, thankfully. But it is the ones that are rapacious that push out the ones that aren’t, as has been brought up elsewhere.

    Robin – would defeating known limits would seem to fall under the ‘cognitive dissonance’ banner, accelerating towards the cliff when you *know* you can’t stop in time? Like disconnecting the safety on a power tool; sounds like it will make life easier in the short term, but of course it isn’t a good idea.

    Rob – Yeah. This is kind of moot, given the realities of climate change. Perhaps this essay/question is akin to asking ‘At what point would have braking helped while you are hurtling over the edge of he cliff?’ or, to go even further back ‘Could we have even safely built/started/gotten in that car?’ or even further still, ‘Should we have built a bicycle or scooter, something less go-off-a-cliff prone?’

    The nuclear power plant issue (Fukishima, etc.) (Guy and others have brought this up; it is commented on here https://guymcpherson.com/2013/07/the-sea-gypsy-tribe/) is the real kicker – if/when (is it cognitive dissonance to write ‘if’?!) the power to their cooling systems goes, we are in a world of trouble. That these systems even *exist* boggles my mind. Engineering/building things that can fail the way they do isn’t a good thing. Ah, hubris.

  • @ Suzanne
    August 19th, 2013 at 6:21 am

    I completely concur that “NOT ALL HUMANS have the same infantile traits as industrialized humans!” However, my observations over the past 45-50 yrs (I’m 60) dictate that the preponderance of people in OECD countries are severely afflicted by those “infantile traits” regardless of ethnicity, country of origin, “luck” of nurture or nature, or predilection for any form of religiosity. These legions of programmed and assimilated cogs and their maintenance of willful ignorance, while vehemently professing their “exceptional” intelligence and knowledge, are the overwhelming factor in this accelerating mass-extinction event. In “the wild,” natural processes maintain a pseudo-balance of “predator” and “prey.” Fossil fuels, industrialization and “modern medicine” negated all the natural checks and balances. The cultures of all OECD-infected populations are the most unnatural organisms on the planet. These circumstances can and will end only one way. Say goodnight, Gracie.

  • @ Arthur Sevestre
    re:
    For more than 99% of human history, humans have lived sustainably as a participating important part of the community of all life, just like all other species. Even to this day there are cultures which live in this fashion: the non-civilized cultures.
    @Suzanne
    re:
    NOT ALL HUMANS have the same infantile traits as industrialized humans! There have been human societies that existed within their habitats for thousands of years without destroying their resource base, without exceeding carrying capacity, and without losing their sanity and integrity over novelty.

    I would like to know what actual evidence you two base the above fantastic statements on. Sure, for 99% of our existence (not history – our entire history has been of destruction) we lived in “harmony” with nature while we were confined to Africa. We started out as food for the large cats and evolved side-by-side with the mega-fauna of Africa. This way those animals evolved to be wary of the devious little pack-hunting apes we are.

    However when we escaped from Africa for the second time 50,000 years ago the rampage began. Most people think the “Sixth Great Extinction” is somehow the product of IC but it actually started 50,000 years ago with the Pleistocene Extinction when, as we spread across the globe we exterminated HUNDREDS of genera of species. We wiped out everything in the Indonesian Archipelago, in New Zealand and Australia, on Madagascar and everywhere else we trod. In the Americas alone our rapacious pack-hunting ancestors wiped out more than 30 Genera of species. This is one of the reasons we turned to agriculture – we left ourselves nothing to hunt. This is one of the reasons modern indigenous tribes look as if they are in “harmony” with Nature – there is nothing left for them to destroy.

    The reason it looks like indigenous hunter-gatherer tribes in the Amazon appear to be in “harmony” with Nature is the mega-fauna were wiped out between 13,000 and 9000 years ago leaving a rather tight nutrient cycle which creates constraints. That is, they look like they are in harmony because they have no choice having reduced nature to something which now severely constrains their rapacious natures.

    This argument of “harmony” is thoroughly falsifiable – the evidence is pretty much irrefutable that global species extermination is what we have done at least over the last 50,000 years. Before that we were constrained to a restricted environment in which we co-evolved with animals which knew to be wary of us. If we had stayed in Africa perhaps we would still be in “harmony” with our co-evolved organisms. Upon escaping Africa we slaughtered everything we encountered and it was easy because these species had evolved to deal with the predators they co-evolved with and had no way of dealing with this wily, skilled, murderous pack-hunting ape they had never encountered before.

    Of course someone is going to come up with the argument that if we killed everything then why were there herds of bison and elk and deer left in North America when Europeans invaded. These “anomalies” are well explained but complex and I’m not going to go into them here – no time, no space, no inclination. If you have an open mind and are willing to examine your clinging to the fallacious notion H. sapiens has lived in harmony with nature, there are several good books on the Pleistocene extinction available which examine and explicate the increasing body of palaeontological evidence pointing directly at the clearly smoking gun of a mal-adapted species rampaging through the natural world destroying everything in it’s path. Pick the tomes with the most recent publication dates – much has changed in paleontology including great refinements in the accuracy of carbon dating.

    If you are not up to reading some actual in-depth science, Jared Diamond’s Collapse shows how many living-in-harmony-with-nature societies destroyed themselves and their environment through rapacious exploitation of same.

    Holding onto the twig of the fallacy that H sapiens is somehow or has ever been in harmony with nature is merely the unwillingness to see this rapacious destructive nature within yourself. Some of the most in-denial deniers of the P extinction are Derrick Jensen in Endgame where he repeats his mantra “the Pleistocene extinction did not happen” over and over and over. His buddy, Vine Deloria, actually believed carbon dating is a plot by white scientists to discredit North American First Nations (or Aboriginals or whatever they call themselves these days) and is a lie and the extinction never happened. Moreover Deloria denies all science and asserts his people have “always been here;” he actually believes the mythology of NA tribes. (so does Jensen, by the way)

    I am continually amazed by people who blame IC for all our problems but at the same time believe H sapiens is somehow “good” or has in the past and will again in the future (if there is one) live in “harmony” with what is left of Nature. Then who in hell established IC if it wasn’t us? I call this the Skip Wilson argument: “The devil made me do it!” Denial and the side-stepping of responsibility are important survival mechanisms for H. sapiens but also are among mechanisms which allowed us to destroy everything in our path for the last 50,000 years.

    An important point to remember is we are a (self) domesticated species and thus separated from Nature and have been since H hablis chipped the first stone axe. We no more a part of Nature than is a French Bulldog and no more viable without our infrastructure and tools than a French Bulldog (the French Bulldog is so genetically over-engineered by selective breeding it cannot reproduce without the intervention of human hands – literally)

  • Steven Earl Salmony said, “It ain’t over ’til its over. No one knows for sure what the future holds.”

    I’ve fallen from the 100th floor of a New York skyscraper. So, as I pass the 2nd floor I’m thinking, ‘so far so good'(?!) Should I hope to sprout wings and save myself? Maybe I will fall into an awning 🙂 I’ve gone over the edge – too late for making “behavioral changes” now.

    And so it is with runaway climate change. The future holds, with certainty, a 6C minimum temperature rise in the very near term. There is nothing that can be done about it. Santa God is not testing our faith and ‘He’ will not come to our rescue by tidying up our mess. The family of man is about to hit bottom with no wings to save him. The only ‘uncertainty’ which remains is when – that is, what floor we are passing right now.

  • «To have access to the environment that allows reading this blog and commenting on it means one is not living in a stone age community …»

    http://www.tech-pundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Cloud_Begins_With_Coal.pdf?c761ac

  • Dear Don,

    So you believe we are falling. At the moment I happen to agree with you. But that does not and cannot mean that flying is impossible. Who is to say that there is no way out of a nosedive?

    Dear Bill,

    What leads you to believe there are not and cannot be loopholes? From whence is such certainty regarding derived?

    Dear Kirk Hamilton,

    Please do call me Steve. I was born in 1945. Kirk, years ago I believed that some kind of superordinate global challenge would present itself and immediately unite humankind. The very best attributes of the human species would be tested. Never did I so much as consider for a moment anything like the human-induced “global predicament” that now looms before humanity. What we are facing is more colossal, more complicated and harder to discern than anything I could have ever imagined.

    Dear muffleupagus,

    Not an Eastern, Western, Southern or Northern Elite. I am referring to a “Global Elite” that has concentrated in a few hands an enormous amount of the world’s wealth, from which this elite faction derives its political and military power. Think of Pugwash, Bilderbergers and The Trilateral Commission as examples of operative organizations hosted by the Global Elite.

    Best to all,

    Steve

  • Fantastic and impressive post, Thanatos Sunbum. I copied and pasted your entire entry for future reference. Write more, please.

  • Steve – “But that does not and cannot mean that flying is impossible. Who is to say that there is no way out of a nosedive?”

    not me.

    who is to say you are daring enough to know what this really means? daring enough to actually feel the nosedive and the imminent death, knowing you have risked it all, knowing there is nothing in you that will survive, and willing to let that be your new reality, the reality of “no-you” – the “no-you” that is also “no-gravity-no-rules-no-boundaries” and maybe even no-control, and who knows what that might lead to? yikes, scary stuff.

    give it a spin. i dare you.

    there is a loophole here, alright. big enough to fly through, or float through, depending on your style or mood in the moment.

    technology as we know it is wholly unnecessary, so I am not even going to bother wondering if it will be around, in any form. truly, technology is fun, but it is also meaningless and useless, just an imaginary toy in an imaginary land of reality that currently operates as if it needs technology.

    all rules are subject to change, at any time, sometimes for brief moments, sometimes permanently. if you play by the rules, that is sometimes wise, and sometimes foolish. it all depends on how you want to play, and how far you want to take the infinite game, at this moment.

  • If Guy is Dr Doom I’m Mr Doom^4. I’m not nearly as optimistic as most of the others on this blog. Jason said, “Ruminating on collapse is unhealthy and depressing.” Jason better not read Dmitry Orlov’s accounts of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It might make him suicidal. Our planet’s future is going to be orders of magnitude worse than what Dr Orlov witnessed (there’s that damn exponential function again). Natural growth has kept our species alive for a million years because everything else was also trying to grow naturally, which kept things in balance. Civilization and ultimately the industrial revolution have thrown things way out of balance. The population with all the power and inertia (aka most of us “civilized” types) has become intoxicated with it. How many drunks can quit their addiction cold turkey? Very few of them can even admit that they have a problem, much less overcome it before crashing their car into a brick wall. But yet this is what we are hoping for with all of this theoretical dialog? When the exponentially growing population runs out of the exponentially reducing oil they will look for any fuel that is left. Say hello to exponentially declining forests and with it an Easter Island like 6th extinction. Don’t expect a Captain Cook (aka lower birth rates) to come to our rescue. Dr Guy described in a lecture and/or the DVD how the population of China doubled during the attempted enforcement of their one child law. The surviving population will be the ones that learn how to live in a resource poor region.

  • sorry, but there will not be “The Surviving Population” to learn anything.

    I can’t believe there is any debate about this…

    What we should be discussing is how best to spend our last days – and I’m pretty sure “debating NTE” is not on my list!

    You know, I’m 51 years old and I’ve done pretty much everything I’ve wanted to do and I’ve been lucky that not a lot of bad things have happened in my life. I gave it all up – but really all I gave up was doing pretty much the same stuff over and over again – how many times do I really need to go scuba diving, fishing, skiing, etc? I’m done. There’s nothing more to do.

    And besides, it doesn’t really matter and it never mattered anyway.

    We will be widely scattered subatomic particles in the cold, dark, emptiness of space soon enough.

    Picture cold.

    Picture dark.

    I just hope I live long enough to see the govt buildings burn and the politicians hang.

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

  • Can someone please give me a realistic scenario where NTE plays out? I have yet to see this on the site. Collapse of industry? Sure. How does this lead to extinction? I’m missing some connections here. Fill me in please.

    Thanks.

  • European forests close to ‘carbon saturation point’

    The ability of Europe’s ageing forests to absorb carbon dioxide is heading towards saturation point, threatening one of the continent’s main defences against global warming, a study claims.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/10251420/European-forests-close-to-carbon-saturation-point.html

  • @ Thanatos Sunbum

    Upon escaping Africa we slaughtered everything we encountered and it was easy because these species had evolved to deal with the predators they co-evolved with and had no way of dealing with this wily, skilled, murderous pack-hunting ape they had never encountered before.

    Assumes that animals are stupid. They are not. They are very smart. They learn very fast. Something comes along and starts killing them they notice. If the argument was right, then the Africans would have eaten all the Wildebeeste and Zebras long ago.

    Not saying that there isn’t something to your side of the argument, but I’m not saying it’s nearly so clear cut as you are stating. People also are not all stupid. There’s plenty of evidence of humans having great respect for the animals they hunted and ate. I think the picture you paint is too crude, and that actual human relationships with their environment have been far more complex and nuanced.

  • Friedrich Kling Says:
    August 19th, 2013 at 10:59 am
    Fantastic and impressive post, Thanatos Sunbum.

    Seconded- But I still maintain that this apparent extinction-wish has a source beyond H. Sapiens. Thanatos Sunbum might call that: “side-stepping responsibility”, but, however murderously clever, H. Sapiens is still presumably an ‘order of magnitude’ less clever than the biosphere which spawned it, which biosphere must have ‘known’ what it was getting into and where it would lead, and could have curtailed the process at any point, in the interests of the survival of the other species, if it wished to do so?

    Yeah I know- Anthropomorphism.. but you get my point?

    Are we to believe that the biosphere is stupid?… Stupid enough to accomodate a biocidal civilisation? If so, where exactly did all that human cleverness come from?

  • Rob,
    Your post really resonated with me. Thanks. So having “done it all” we still find ourselves in questioning “what to do with the time we have”? for that matter, how do we make that happen in short order? Now that sounds like an interesting conversation to have! Wouldn’t it be an awful problem if somehow we were able to pull it off and have a great time with the proverbial “bucket list” only to find out that we had more time than we originally thought? Sounds like a twisted sort of win-win to me. I know it can’t be that simple, but maybe it is.

  • 18000days – “H. Sapiens is still presumably an ‘order of magnitude’ less clever than the biosphere which spawned it, which biosphere must have ‘known’ what it was getting into and where it would lead, and could have curtailed the process at any point, in the interests of the survival of the other species, if it wished to do so?”

    “where exactly did all that human cleverness come from?”

    enquiring minds want to know.

    Rick – “I know it can’t be that simple, but maybe it is.”

    hmm, maybe this depends on your take as to what is “simple.”

    from some povs, many many things are simple.

    from other povs, those same things are deranged, delusional, destructive and very very dangerous.

    from my pov, the common things that most people think of when talking about “deranged, delusional, destructive and very very dangerous” are actually pointless.

    for me, the real things that are “deranged, delusional, destructive and very very dangerous” are actually the simple things.

    these are also the things that life, or the biosphere, if you want to use the safe science terminology, being many many orders of magnitude smarter than we are, can pull off quite effortlessly. simply, and effortlessly.

    why would life dare to create us biocidal, homicidal, genocidal murderous freaks? only because life itself is many orders of magnitude more biocidal, homicidal and genocidal than we want to admit. creating us, compared to creating supernovas, black holes, gamma bursts, let alone super volcanoes, asteroids, comets and your occasional mega destructive solar flare…

    well, my feeling is I’d rather tread as lightly as possible on such a force. I’d respect it as deeply as I can, and simply thank it, endlessly, for allowing me to be here, amongst what is otherwise very vast and murderous, and mysterious, mayhem. and I would very much be careful about tampering with the rest of its creation, if I can at all help it.

  • Nobody biting? I see these “limitations” existing on this terrestrial plane. Ultimately they exist if we could spread out to infest the whole of the cosmos. As is, our small minds are thinking of this tiny rock.

    Doesn’t this depend on the timelines of collapse? The rate, and intensity of collapse, and towards which aspects of our systems we utilize to survive, exactly?

    Air/// pretty sure we’re okay there.

    Water/// desalination is working quite well for some parts of the world.

    Solar Energy/// reached parity 2-3 years ago for many places depending on your local rate.

    Phosphorus? Nitrogen? C’mon, solutions are being had at ever increasing rates.

    What exactly is keeping us from building on, out, and beyond?

    The climate changing?! Well we move in closer, cities along the coasts become thrashed, a chunk of the population dies out.. and life goes on.

    Half or better of the species dies out? So what, already has time and time again. We are just beginning to dabble in synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and GMO-crops. It’s not going to stop anytime soon. As we develop quantum computing, we’ll have intelligent entities magnitudes of order greater than our capacities overseeing our actions, or at least giving us guiding foresight towards sustainable paths.

    You think I’m nuts? Good. I think you’re nuts as well. Means we’re just aware of our selves and the situation at hand.

    Why is it “bad” not to be selfish towards our species? We passed the point of “living in harmony with nature” long, long ago. Any attempt to crash civilization with a quickness leads to the same result as seeing it through, except we don’t have the technological advances if we were to just keep our cool and allow the weak to perish as is NATURAL. Most people die off either way. Great, now we have no way to bounce back, or keep going, it’s backwards marathon racing for the unforeseeable future. Good job.

    Huh?

    Why can’t we engineer our way into artificial habitats that sustain us. Artificial ecosystems that provide us our needs. Hell, if we were ever able to make it out into the stars, we’d have to radically adapt to the vast changes of various other terrains. We’d be tinkering then. Why not now. You don’t like it? Fine. Those who don’t much mind are adapting beyond you.

    Am I “evil” for suggesting these things, or simply more reasonable then, “we’re all going to die”, but I can’t really tell you how, why, or when. Just trust me. Feel bad. The End.

  • * orders of magnitude

    also:

    as for the sewage system overflowing. why the hell can’t we compost our own waste. why can’t we reuse the nutrients in our poo, and form ecosystems which can utilize this, and feed us back fruit, veggies, fish, and whatever else? is this really so unthinkable that nobodies seriously entertaining it? or is it being done smaller scale that I’m not aware of? I know we compost other animals poo. why not our own?

  • *orders of magnitude

  • @Don
    A little over 40 years ago (1972) I was working as a union labourer (local 332) on a 40 story high rise condo project in Philadelphia. We had just topped out and I was carrying a sheet of plywood toward the edge of the building roof that would be used in the form for a concrete parapet wall. It was a blustery March day and the wind caught the plywood. By the time I got it down I was staring over the edge and my hard hat was on it’s way to Camden NJ.

    Although I had almost been airmailed about three times that year, it was my first construction job, I have many times thought about that particular instant in time over the years. I am pretty damn sure that, had I gone over, I would have tried my very best to fly that sheet of plywood the whole way down to the ground. Hopeless? Probably, but I am pretty damn sure I would have given it a shot.

  • First a note to ulfgvl.
    Don’t waste your time typing at me: I don’t read your posts and I don’t read the posts of people who reply to you. As far as I can see you are a nut-less, dick-less intelligent bully. I’m no diagnostician but I bet you have a severe psychiatric disorder. For someone who yaps endlessly about cosmic consciousness or love or whatever that drivel is, you are a mean, nasty, violent pile of stinking rubbish. I’m pretty sure you are an angry little man (perhaps in a corpulent body) living a lonely life shrieking in lonely anger at your lonely emptiness. You can’t deal with the empty horror of your own pitiful existence and you take your anger out on the people here … at least that is how I read your vitriol and viciousness. Don’t bother replying to this little note – I won’t read it. You will probably blubber something about “you must have read my posts or how else, yap, yap, yap.” Well, yes, I happen to glimpse the first few sentences sometimes as I scroll by but that doesn’t mean I’m reading you and it doesn’t mean I acknowledge you; it just means you are an intermittent annoyance I have to avoid from time to time, much like the dog turd on the trail.

    @ 180000 days and mo flo

    I’m sorry but I don’t really understand what you are getting at. I’m just a simple, retired pig farmer who happens to be a bit smart, had the good fortune to get some education and likes to read. Your writing is too abstract for a simpleton like myself. I am pretty much a material reductionist (is that the correct term?) and don’t really truck with cosmic consciousness or uber-minds or any of those “spiritual” abstractions. In a previous post I mentioned it is the worst scoundrels who promulgate the highest values … like the bully ulgfgl does (what a joke of a human he is). Thus I’m pretty wary of these highfalutin discussions of abstract values which fall by the wayside when there is a child handy to rape or someone to bully.

    In a previous post I contrasted the Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock and Margulis with the Medea hypothesis of Peter Ward. My point of view is Life is the result of an incredibly unlikely conjunction of circumstances, so unlikely that this could be the only planet in the Universe which has spawned complex Life (single celled life is likely ubiquitous). There is no mind behind it, there is no consciousness behind it, there is no active intelligence behind it (not to say there is no intelligence in Nature – read Jeremy Narby) but the way I read your comments is that if you replaced the words “life” and “biosphere” with the word “God” then your posts would make a little more sense to me. Other than that I cannot directly address your comments because I don’t really understand them.

    That life appeared on this planet at all merely the luck of the draw; that complex life arose and proliferated is the luck of the draw; that H. sapiens arose is, again, merely the luck of the draw. That we continue to exist is also the luck of the draw. Apparently around 74,000 years ago there was a minor extinction event caused by some major vulcanization which reduced H sapiens to something like 2000 members. So just by the skin of our species chinny-chin-chin did we pull through. We might not have and these conversations would not only be moot but non-existent.

    74,000 years ago there was no intention, no meaning, no intelligence, no motivation, there was just a volcano. There was no intention, meaning or intelligence behind the vulcanism which caused the first four major extinctions and nor behind the asteroid which caused the fifth great extinction. And now we are the geological force behind the sixth great extinction bringing to it an equivalent lack of intention, meaning or intelligence. We are little more than a volcano or asteroid but made of meat.

    We are here by evolution which is just a series of tiny unlikely circumstances accumulating over billions of years culminating in the utter astonishing unlikelihood of complex life. Even more astonishing, genus Homo arose, a form of complex life which seems to be self-reflecting and conscious (although I very strongly doubt that). Even more astonishingly, H. sapiens is now a sufficient geological force to kill an entire planetary biosphere.

    I’m not sure if that addresses what you are trying to express but I’ve done my best based on how I interpreted your difficult-for-me-to-understand comments.

    Postscript to Robin Datta: I appreciate your comments on uber-Love (although I probably don’t fully understand them) and I’ve heard about these alleged Tibetan yogis and their wintertime wet yak-wool blanket practice but the only eye-witness account I’ve ever seen reported they were doing it with a light cotton cloth no larger than a standard bandana. I am of the mind the reportage of Fakir miracles and Yogic feats and Saddhus with Siddhis (spelling?) is the historic equivalent of our modern reportage of Sasquatch, Loch Ness monster, extra-terrestrial visitation, healings at Lourdes and that the Pope, the supreme pedophile, is the direct representative on Earth of a non-existent god. In other words, a bit far-fetched and the National Enquirer fodder of those times.

    Regarding love I guess I didn’t express myself very well. I think my point was if family, friends and lovers are not capable of simply being decent human beings (I think that is an oxymoron) then the possibility of the existence of some kind of uber-Love and the chances of someone actually attaining it are so unlikely I see no need to acknowledge it as a possibility or as something to take seriously. Just look at Ulvbgl and his prattling about Cosmic nonsense and how well his self-proclaimed “attainment” has served him in conducting himself as a decent human being (again the oxymoron!).

  • ‘It ain’t over ’til its over.’

    steven, steven, u’re absolutely right i think, literally speaking. it’s possible that the game of life is similar to a baseball game in that it isn’t officially literally over until the last out is recorded (or in our case, i.c. completely bites the dust, but not before causing unimaginable suffering, trauma, horror and death, mini-runaway agw and mass extinctions/ eco-collapse leaving in it’s wake an unimaginably devastated and desolate planet earth). if so i think the game is in the 9th inning and our side is behind about a million to one. the opposition is obviously far superior at this game, and they’re not about to give up or forfeit before that final out has been made. so, while i’m not dogmatically convinced there’s no hope of avoiding nte, perhaps i am dogmatically convinced that there’s no point in playing the game anymore with any hope of winning.

  • @ Thanatos Sunbum

    Don’t waste your time typing at me: I don’t read your posts…

    Hahahaha, you obviously DO ! 🙂

    Yes, you are rather stupid as well as rude.

    I did ask you to try to be be polite.

    No wonder nobody loves you !

    Regarding tumo, it’s fully tested and verified under laboratory conditions. Would you like me to find a link for you ?

    Now, why didn’t the zebras and wildebeeeste’s all get eaten ?

  • @Thanatos Sunbum
    “I’m sorry but I don’t really understand what you are getting at. I’m just a simple, retired pig farmer who happens to be a bit smart, had the good fortune to get some education and likes to read. Your writing is too abstract for a simpleton like myself. I am pretty much a material reductionist (is that the correct term?) and don’t really truck with cosmic consciousness or uber-minds or any of those “spiritual” abstractions. In a previous post I mentioned it is the worst scoundrels who promulgate the highest values … like the bully ulgfgl does (what a joke of a human he is). Thus I’m pretty wary of these highfalutin discussions of abstract values which fall by the wayside when there is a child handy to rape or someone to bully.

    In a previous post I contrasted the Gaia hypothesis of Lovelock and Margulis with the Medea hypothesis of Peter Ward. My point of view is Life is the result of an incredibly unlikely conjunction of circumstances, so unlikely that this could be the only planet in the Universe which has spawned complex Life (single celled life is likely ubiquitous). There is no mind behind it, there is no consciousness behind it, there is no active intelligence behind it (not to say there is no intelligence in Nature – read Jeremy Narby) but the way I read your comments is that if you replaced the words “life” and “biosphere” with the word “God” then your posts would make a little more sense to me. Other than that I cannot directly address your comments because I don’t really understand them.

    That life appeared on this planet at all merely the luck of the draw; that complex life arose and proliferated is the luck of the draw; that H. sapiens arose is, again, merely the luck of the draw. That we continue to exist is also the luck of the draw. Apparently around 74,000 years ago there was a minor extinction event caused by some major vulcanization which reduced H sapiens to something like 2000 members. So just by the skin of our species chinny-chin-chin did we pull through. We might not have and these conversations would not only be moot but non-existent.

    74,000 years ago there was no intention, no meaning, no intelligence, no motivation, there was just a volcano. There was no intention, meaning or intelligence behind the vulcanism which caused the first four major extinctions and nor behind the asteroid which caused the fifth great extinction. And now we are the geological force behind the sixth great extinction bringing to it an equivalent lack of intention, meaning or intelligence. We are little more than a volcano or asteroid but made of meat.

    We are here by evolution which is just a series of tiny unlikely circumstances accumulating over billions of years culminating in the utter astonishing unlikelihood of complex life. Even more astonishing, genus Homo arose, a form of complex life which seems to be self-reflecting and conscious (although I very strongly doubt that). Even more astonishingly, H. sapiens is now a sufficient geological force to kill an entire planetary biosphere.

    I’m not sure if that addresses what you are trying to express but I’ve done my best based on how I interpreted your difficult-for-me-to-understand comments.

    Postscript to Robin Datta: I appreciate your comments on uber-Love (although I probably don’t fully understand them) and I’ve heard about these alleged Tibetan yogis and their wintertime wet yak-wool blanket practice but the only eye-witness account I’ve ever seen reported they were doing it with a light cotton cloth no larger than a standard bandana. I am of the mind the reportage of Fakir miracles and Yogic feats and Saddhus with Siddhis (spelling?) is the historic equivalent of our modern reportage of Sasquatch, Loch Ness monster, extra-terrestrial visitation, healings at Lourdes and that the Pope, the supreme pedophile, is the direct representative on Earth of a non-existent god. In other words, a bit far-fetched and the National Enquirer fodder of those times.

    Regarding love I guess I didn’t express myself very well. I think my point was if family, friends and lovers are not capable of simply being decent human beings (I think that is an oxymoron) then the possibility of the existence of some kind of uber-Love and the chances of someone actually attaining it are so unlikely I see no need to acknowledge it as a possibility or as something to take seriously. Just look at Ulvbgl and his prattling about Cosmic nonsense and how well his self-proclaimed “attainment” has served him in conducting himself as a decent human being (again the oxymoron!).”

    Thank you. My brain was melting. Or weeping.

  • The Thanatron

    Finally something useful for NTE

    Euthanasia device

    Invented by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, this device involved an individual pushing a button that released drugs or chemicals that would end his or her own life. Two deaths were assisted by means of this device, which delivered the euthanizing drugs mechanically through an IV. Kevorkian called it a “Thanatron” or death machine (see Thanatos).

    It had three canisters or bottles mounted on a metal frame, about 6 inches (150 mm) wide by 18 inches (460 mm) high. Each bottle had a syringe that connected to a single IV line in the person’s arm. The first bottle contained ordinary saline, or salt water. Another contained a sleep-inducing barbiturate called sodium thiopental, and the third a lethal mixture of potassium chloride, which immediately stopped the heart, and pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant to prevent spasms during the dying process. (These are the three drugs administered in the lethal injection execution protocol, but in the execution protocol, the pancuronium bromide is administered before the potassium chloride.)

    Kevorkian or an assistant begins the saline solution flow.

    The person who wants to die must deliver the barbiturates by throwing a switch, pushing a button or pulling a string.

    After that, either a timer or a mechanical device triggered by the person’s falling arm as the drugs take effect starts the lethal drug flowing. The idea is for the deadly chemicals to enter the bloodstream only after the person is asleep. Death usually occurred within two minutes.

  • muffleupagus Says:
    August 19th, 2013 at 2:00 pm
    Can someone please give me a realistic scenario where NTE plays out? I have yet to see this on the site. Collapse of industry? Sure. How does this lead to extinction? I’m missing some connections here. Fill me in please.

    Thanks.

    Hey. I’m sure you can find what you’re looking for right here on NBL. Start with Dr. Guys article, We’re Done. Timeline 2030, “stick a fork in us , we’re done.”

    @ Steve, you said, ” I believed that some kind of superordinate global challenge would present itself and immediately unite humankind. The very best attributes of the human species would be tested.”

    I used to hope for that too, Steve. But, for me, Humanity has proven without a shadow of doubt it’s general unworthiness for survival. Sure, there are lots of good people ‘out there’ but not enough to stem the tide of unnecessary suffering that condemns us. “The children suffer, there is no redemption.”

    I’m in full agreement with others here who have stated what a great thing it is that we’re being destroyed before we have the chance to inflict our disease elsewhere in the galaxy.

  • ‘Skip Says:
    August 19th, 2013 at 12:15 pm ‘I’m not nearly as optimistic as most of the others on this blog….The surviving population will be the ones that learn how to live in a resource poor region.’

    skip, i’d say the last part of this quote makes u seem much more optimistic than most on this blog. i think most here will agree with me that a more accurate statement re. survivors once eco-collapse goes into overdrive is that the prospects for lts (long term survival) will be exceedingly grim and most if not all will succumb in rather short order, perhaps their main reward being increased suffering. surviving under dystopian nightmarish conditions isn’t for the faint of heart or sound of mind. how’s that for ‘optimism’?

    cognitive dissonance seems pervasive. i see it in my own expression, one day lauding as ‘heroic’ dgr, and a day or 2 later reverting to utter despair/resignation. optimism, among other things, is a hard habit to break. ///

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Thanatos

    t. sunburn, i had to google ‘thanatos’ to find it’s definition. i welcome your rapier wit and no bs style of writing. i’m not quite as down on humanity or ulvfugl as u appear to be, but this blog is definitely a magnet for disillusioned doomer misanthropes of various sorts, and not quite one great big happy family. so perhaps it’s appropriate that i greet u like i was greeted when attending a ‘rainbow gathering’ of old hippies camping out in a national forest in amerikkka: ‘welcome home!’

  • @Kirk

    I have read elsewhere this data was preliminary and has been removed from record. Is this correct? If so, I must wonder if it’s faulty measurement, else removed due to political influence?

  • muffleupagus Says:
    August 19th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I’ll bite. I will give some short responses to as many of your considerations as I can.

    “Nobody biting? I see these “limitations” existing on this terrestrial plane. Ultimately they exist if we could spread out to infest the whole of the cosmos. As is, our small minds are thinking of this tiny rock.”

    Regarding infesting the cosmos look up Fermi’s Paradox. It is an interesting thought experiment. Additionally, Arthur C. Clarke suggested “intelligent” life cannot travel into space because, like us, they will engineer catastrophe before they can engineer space travel.

    “Doesn’t this depend on the timelines of collapse? The rate, and intensity of collapse, and towards which aspects of our systems we utilize to survive, exactly?”

    I don’t know what you mean by this.

    “Air/// pretty sure we’re okay there.”

    I saw an article somewhere recently which claimed the oxygen content of the atmosphere is declining. I don’t know how credible that is. The bigger danger is a massive, deadly output of Hydrogen Sulfide and Methane from our currently dieing oceans. This apparently has happened before and was sufficient to exterminate a large proportion of land animals. Then it won’t matter how clean or oxygenated the atmosphere is. See Under a Green Sky by Peter Ward (he says it can happen again)

    “Water/// desalination is working quite well for some parts of the world.”

    There is currently a global water crisis and the melting of glaciers upon which probably a majority of the Earth’s population depends on doesn’t help. Aquifers in India, the USA and everywhere on the planet are being depleted by what is called “water mining.” See When Rivers Run Dry by Fred Pearce. In addition, desalinization is highly energy intensive and will not persist as global energy depletion continues and the global economy withers and is certainly not going to provide fresh water for billions of people.

    “Solar Energy/// reached parity 2-3 years ago for many places depending on your local rate.

    Solar is just a variant on Fossil Fuels. The amount of energy required to set up wind turbines, manufacture solar panels and establish other so-called “renewables” is based on the diesel fuel for mining and transport, coal for smelting, electricity for milling (more coal), more diesel for transport, HUGE amounts of natural gas for Portland cement production.Renewables also require huge amounts of rare earth minerals which are rare and at current rates of consumption, some of them are predicted to deplete in a decade or so. Here is an excellent summary of the prospects for alternative energy:
    http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/renewable-energy-the-vision-and-a-dose-of-reality.html

    “Phosphorus? Nitrogen? C’mon, solutions are being had at ever increasing rates.”

    Although the price of phosphorus has recently dropped due to dumping by Russia (to bolster their national bank balance?) the last time I heard we are still heading toward a world-wide shortage. As far as nitrogen goes, anhydrous ammonia, the form of nitrogen used in NA for industrial farming uses huge amounts of Natural Gas in a process which was originally developed by Nazi scientists to provide nitrogen for munitions production. Again, the vast amounts of energy required and, although NA seems to be swimming in shale gas, etc, shale gas is in reality a short term boondoggle. Globally natural gas supply is decreasing. This is obvious when we have to do things like shale gas and LNG trading.

    “What exactly is keeping us from building on, out, and beyond?”

    I am going to assume here you mean space travel again. Energy for starters. We have passed peak oil and the decline will be exponential. Right now both Brent and WTI are above $100 per barrel. $100 seems to be the limit beyond which the economy begins to contract. Soon we will not be able to keep mundane existence going, let alone reach for the stars.

    Finances. There is a global financial collapse underway which severely limits the amount of financing available for anything. James Howard Kunstler writes extensively on this topic in his blog as do the writers at The Automatic Earth (probably one of the best economic blogs around). Start with the Primers and go from there. And we really do not have the tech to do it anyway (more on this below).

    “The climate changing?! Well we move in closer, cities along the coasts become thrashed, a chunk of the population dies out.. and life goes on.”

    There is nowhere to hide. Toxic oceans and rising sea levels along with stronger cyclonic storms forced by global warming generating higher storm surges mean abandonment of coastal communities. In the meantime around the world continental interiors are suffering almost constant drought conditions. The Russian drought in 2011 (was it?) reduced their grain harvest by 40% and they did not export grain that year. I think they are the third largest grain exporter on the planet. That one fact alone should be pretty sobering. On top of everything warming in the arctic is screwing up the jet stream and is causing what has been termed “whiplash weather.” This is all the drought then floods, big storms, more energy in the storms etc you see every day in the media. If you escape the coasts you will only die of heat in the interior. The UN says heat deaths are up 2000% in the first decade of this century. Yes, it will start with the weak – the old, the ill and the young – but it doesn’t have to get very hot to kill; only 35 degrees Celsius with 100% humidity. Moreover the warming planet is assisting the spread of diseases we thought we had under control (malaria, dengue fever) and allowing other pests to arise (white nose disease, a strange fungus killing amphibians, the destruction of forest immune systems allowing catastrophic infestations of Pine Bark Beetle) which we cannot control. It really does look like the end of Nature.

    And life may not go on. In the absolute worst runaway Greenhouse climate disruption scenario even the extremophiles living at the deep ocean vents will die because ocean death will exterminate even them.

    “Half or better of the species dies out? So what, already has time and time again. We are just beginning to dabble in synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and GMO-crops. It’s not going to stop anytime soon. As we develop quantum computing, we’ll have intelligent entities magnitudes of order greater than our capacities overseeing our actions, or at least giving us guiding foresight towards sustainable paths.”

    In April 2000 Bill Joy, the founder of Sun Microsystems, wrote an article in Wired mag entitled Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us in which he asserts “robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech – are threatening to make humans an endangered species.” Back then he identified these three things as the greatest threats facing humanity. This obviously was before he became aware of climate disruption perhaps? I don’t know. I don’t know what he thinks now. But the article still stands as an important read and the argument he presents to support his thesis is all the more relevant today given the obvious failure of the introduction of GMO crap into the environment in the largest uncontrolled biological experiment ever conducted.
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html

    As far as quantum computer super-intelligences I’m pretty sure if we are not smart enough to recycle our own poop we are not smart enough to create this kind of machine, Ray Kurzweil notwithstanding. Plus our societies are totalitarian enough and getting worse – do you want to be under the thumb of an uber-computer? Watch the first three Terminator movies for a great speculation on how the machines take over especially Terminator III.

    “You think I’m nuts? Good. I think you’re nuts as well. Means we’re just aware of our selves and the situation at hand.”

    I do not think you are nuts. Not at all. Of course you are entitled to an opinion. I would suggest your opinion is not very well informed. It sounds to me you have bought into the singularitarian fantasy combined with the nonsense from that film Thrive (is that the one?). I don’t think you are nuts otherwise I would not be taking the time to do this.

    “Why is it “bad” not to be selfish towards our species? We passed the point of “living in harmony with nature” long, long ago. Any attempt to crash civilization with a quickness leads to the same result as seeing it through, except we don’t have the technological advances if we were to just keep our cool and allow the weak to perish as is NATURAL. Most people die off either way. Great, now we have no way to bounce back, or keep going, it’s backwards marathon racing for the unforeseeable future. Good job.”

    Regarding geological extinctions see my post of earlier this afternoon

    Looking For Loopholes

    I see nothing in this paragraph which needs addressing except please understand we are feeling creatures and many believe we are facing doom. A lot of what is going on here is concerned and frightened adults expressing fear, weeping with words, finding community to assuage their isolation, “seeking a friend for the end of the world” (not a great movie but a great title), blowing off emotional steam, dealing with pre-Thanatonic anxiety (hey, I just coined a new phrase!), what have you. If you have read any of my posts, as a material reductionist I may come across a bit hard-ass emotionally, and I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps I don’t feel comfortable expressing my fear and anxiety in this context and thus hide behind intellect and facts in my own denial.

    “Why can’t we engineer our way into artificial habitats that sustain us. Artificial ecosystems that provide us our needs. Hell, if we were ever able to make it out into the stars, we’d have to radically adapt to the vast changes of various other terrains. We’d be tinkering then. Why not now. You don’t like it? Fine. Those who don’t much mind are adapting beyond you.”

    Because we do not know how. Years ago there was an experiment called Biosphere II in which a small group of scientists planned to live in a totally isolated, self-contained artificial environment for a year. They had it all figured out – food production, waste recycling, water purification with little wet-lands … everything – and they had to escape after less than a month as oxygen levels fell and toxins increased. It has not been tried again to my knowledge because we just do not know how. In addition there is some good evidence that we biologically cannot leave the planet because we are actually symbiotic to thousands and thousands of organisms which we have no idea how to take into space with us. Lynn Margulis wrote a lot about our symbiosis (rest in Peace, Lynn).

    “Am I “evil” for suggesting these things, or simply more reasonable then, “we’re all going to die”, but I can’t really tell you how, why, or when. Just trust me. Feel bad. The End.”

    No, you are not evil. The Pope is evil. George W. Bush is evil. Hitler was evil. You might be one or more of the following: poorly informed or misinformed; taken in by techno hype; unaware of the real limitations of our technology; un-aware of the real limits of resources, finance, motivation and technology; unaware of the limits of our “intelligence;” overly optimistic with no real basis. Possibly in denial at the horror which seems to be facing us. Or possibly none of those. I don’t know. But you surely are not evil.

    If nothing else Fukishima is probably going to go critical sooner than later. They are going to start removing the fuel rods in November … by hand! because the laser guided, computer controlled crane which used to do it with accuracy to the millimeter was destroyed by the earthquake. Given the documented incompetence of Tepco, they will surely fuck it up – if the building doesn’t fall over first – and create a nuclear fire which spreads lethal radiation around the Northern Hemisphere. If you ever wanted to learn Spanish and dance Tango, this is the time to move to Argentina.

    If we can’t even control nuclear power and still have no idea what to do with the waste, how could we ever engineer space travel? For more on the Fallacy of Technology as our savior see Techno-fix: Why Technology Won’t save Us or the Environment by Michael Huesseman and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation by James Howard Kunstler. Plus look here for a pretty darn good (thanks Guy) regularly updated summary of the climate issues facing us. One of the big problems is how to re-freeze the Artic (can’t be done) before the Methane balloon pops.
    https://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/

    Wow, are my wrists tired from typing. I hope this has helped you see a bit more of the depth and complexity of the problems facing us.

  • Personally, I think the cataclysms we are facing will function as a population bottleneck that selects out anyone who can’t adapt to life without industrial conveniences (probably including myself), which almost by definition means the death of industrial mindset. The meek shall inherit the Earth and all that… Presuming anyone makes it thru the bottleneck at all.

  • @ everyone, I always feel sad when people bully people about being bullies, or just plain rant angrily, and then i do it too. That being said, it’s Guy’s blog and he does periodically ask us to be civil. So much to be angry about, sad about. Who said “If you don’t despair, you’re not paying attention”?
    I’m so glad to be be able to access this blog where the BAU human condition of insanity: shame, guilt, pleasure, blame, admiration, love, projection, violence, spiritual questing, cynicism…etc. At least here there is a balance: here there is a willingness to look reality in the face. Sometimes a willingness to be vulnerable, to share poetry… I like the idea of the collective brain and think it’s a necessity for “sanity” (whatever that might look like at this point!). I know that I, at least, need human community to keep me honest with myself. …and to tolerate all of this devastating reality.

    I appreciate all of you all the more since we were hacked (dreadful!) Nothing to google but hopium! I was raging more than usual 🙂

    @ muffleupagus: welcome! (i think you’re new here?) “We’re done” is a great start, I second that….and the next article to read is Climate Change Summary and update, if you really, actually want to open yourself to being convinced NTHE is highly likely (at best) or certain (more likely) … following all the links and reading them takes about 4-6 hours (I think). Personally, I needed a few months to absorb the whole story Guy’s compiled there. Watched all of his presentations, watched my favourites over and over. Kevin Anderson helped me too, he explains how and why the mainstream science is a fraud. I was happier when I thought we had a shot at collapsing into a permaculture paradise, but there you go. Some folk just keep pushing. I’m one of them. Given that you’re here, you probably are, too.

  • Here’s a recent local story of being “incapable of holding [one’s self] back”:
    http://mobile.vnews.com/search/8083885-108/jim-kenyon-a-time-bomb-in-his-head
    Not sure if it’s behind a pay wall, but it’s the charming human interest story of a dickhead who, having been diagnosed with “most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors in adults”, during a remission went on to marry and poop out a couple of kids who are now -“tragically”- going to be orphaned. Plus, the family is broke because he’s been unable to work, but… Hey, who could have predicted, huh!?

    To ( one would think) the majority of people such behavior would be beyond the pale. It’s illogical and cruel. But according to our biological and thermodynamical rules —those being explored on Jay Hanson’s threads and Paul Chefurka’s blog—it makes perfect sense. [The guy’s still a dickhead, though. 😉 ]

  • Well, the Fukushima news keeps rolling and it is getting Hotter. (We have moved up from Cesium to Tritium)

    Tritium Measurement In Fukushima Bay Highest Ever As TEPCO Admits 40 Trillion Becquerels Have Spilled Into Pacific

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-19/tritium-measurement-fukushima-bay-highest-ever-tepco-admits-40-trillion-becquerels-h

    Again I wonder how much the actual figure is.

    @muffleupagus You might also be interested in the Fukushima / Nuclear discussions on the various threads here.

    @Kirk I’m in full agreement with others here who have stated what a great thing it is that we’re being destroyed before we have the chance to inflict our disease elsewhere in the galaxy.

    For a bit there, the aliens must have been pretty worried 😛

    To the fiddle 😀

  • 40 trillion what? How many lethal doses does that equate to? Or better yet how many predicted cases of cancer over the next 30 years?

    I see huge numbers regarding fuku all tge time. Without proper context to give us a laymen understanding of what this means, I choos3 to disregard it.

    Anyone here care to enlighten me, or do w e keep to big scientific numbers that for all I know could be using a scale equivalent to nanograms?

  • After a little bit of work I find this is equivalent to roughly 1081 curries. There you see, that number doesn’t seem nearly as scary. Why you think they choose to use that number which is so much larger? Maybe to scare ignorant people?

    The oceans are pretty big, and seem to have quite a bit of radioactive particles already in it. I’m not sure hoe this leads to NTE.

  • Sometimes I wonder if the most despondent among us are shilling for TPTB… after all, wouldn’t those psychopaths at the top want us to just stop resisting so dam hard, so they can keep on keeping on with business as usual? Never mind, most likely not true… after all, whatever resistance there is, is trivial compared to the grand sweep of tranquil domesticity. But, then again, we were hacked… So, we’re probably scaring them somehow… Hmmm they must be trying to nip cataclysmic awareness in the bud… (for our own ‘good’, of course) But as things decay, the (radioactive) steam will rise.

    Meanwhile, I hope all of us serious kids here in this playground at the end of the world can at least try to frolic harmoniously — if, as some truly believe/know, we are shortly doomed… that’s all the more reason to stop wasting precious time on anger management amongst ourselves. (more shills and chills?) As for the habitual optimists, please… for your own good: a little more distress display would really help you smooth in better… and might reduce some of the annoyed animosity you receive. Of course, optimists always frustratingly see challenge as opportunity. Arrgh!

    OK, so I’m despondently sarcastically optimistic and really, really toasty angry tonight, and glowing with love (or radiation?) and squealing like a stuck pig at a vegan pick-nick… So, what are you going to do about it? Huh? Call me crazy? I’m going to beat you to it! So there.

    Whew, glad I blew that goblin off my chest, I’m paranoid certain it was about to bite me…

    While we wait for someone to write an article on “Madness at the End of the World” modeled on my multidimensional brain scan projected larger than life onto cyberspace… before I start seeing all you grey matter manifestations in my all too vivid and obstinate delusions… how ’bout a little Dilbert to explain it all?

    http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/ucomics.com/dt130819.gif

    till death do us part

  • For reference, a self illuminating exit sign, commonly used in the US, contains about 25 curries of tritium. So this is equivalent to throwing 43 of those signs into the ocean.

    Oh my!

    Yea, so you’ve been duped. Guy uses pretty bad reasoning from time to time as well to scare people, FYI.

  • Well I’m not shilling. I’m trying to dispel some of the obviously erroneous reasoning and outright ignorance presented to scare people for no g99d reason.

    If we’re doomed we’re doomed, and I sure as hell would love to know the truth, but I have yet to find it.

  • I just had an insight. The fact that this propaganda is allowed to go unchecked.. that an official doesn’t put these figures into contact for the public, leaves me to believe they think most of the people daring to know are simply too stupid to comprehend and would be better off living in a state of fear while they continue on with whatever agenda they have.

    This propaganda works to their advantage. If we were to be seeing mass dieoffs of individuals surrounding the site by now, I’d be concerned. As far as I know only a single person has died related to the disaster as a direct result to radiation exposure. Non issue compared to some of the other things going on around the globe.

    Anyone know how to figure the exact radioactive equivalent dosage of the sum total of radioactive materials at the site if they were to be ingested by a single individual in one sitting? I thought not. There isn’t enough material there to cause NTE. Increased cancer incidences over a few decades? Yea okay. ELE or NTE. Not a chance.

  • @ Lidia

    Hope you are well ?

    Crikey. Overcoming adversity so he can cause so much more grief and suffering and pain for others.

    @ Paula

    Is this this first time you commented here ? Welcome to DOOM. I used to talk about the bottleneck a couple of years back, now it’s mostly fallen out of my vocabulary. Like Lorraine, I sometimes wish we could return to those more innocent days when there seemed a chance of ‘collapsing into permaculture paradise’. Anyway, thanks for putting up me with at your blog.

  • Can someone please give me a realistic scenario where NTE plays out?

    But dated, from July 2012. Exponential change and new news have since passed the bend in the hockey stick.

    TED – Climate change is simple: David Roberts at TED @ The Evergreen State College

    Important updates:

    :-q 400 ppm CO2 geologically have been associated with:

    • A temperature 6°C higher: the lag from CO2 rise to temperature rise can be decades. 😮

    • Sea level rise rise of 23 metres (~69 feet). Again, there it the time lag. 😮

    :-q The impending 50 Gt methane clathrate burp (burp = over a decade or two, or perhaps less than a decade) from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. 😮 😮

    And there are the other F(eedback/at) L(oops/adies) listed by Dr. McPherson wh(ich/o) have begun to operate/sing. ;-o

    Think of it as a kid’s coloring book. Feel free to get out your crayons, watercolours, paints etc. and go at it.

  • U,

    Rather than talking about ‘the bottleneck’, I prefer to talk about a series of bottlenecks. Getting through one provides access to the next.

    The failure of many to get through the first reduces competition at the second and so on. On the other hand, the necks in the series probably get smaller.

    Robert Atack promoted the idea of a bottleneck with the bung still firmly in place.

  • muffleupagus Says: Can someone please give me a realistic scenario where NTE plays out? I have yet to see this on the site. Collapse of industry? Sure. How does this lead to extinction?

    Lorraine Says: Kevin Anderson helped me too, he explains how and why the mainstream science is a fraud.

    Mainstream news sites do have obligatory stories about climate change. Some even use terms like “potentially catastrophic”, and mention warming of as much as 5c. But there is no real sense of alarm or emergency. The millionaires and billionaires that own these news outlets are mainly concerned about what kind of sea level rise that will threaten their beachfront property in the immediate future. Very few stories hint at fact that the kind of climate that’s going to exist if we go to even 3c means that all the places that currently grow crops are going to be reduced to ashes. But this is the way capitalists think, and that’s why I’m convinced nothing will change until the crisis in upon us in full force – meaning catastrophic crop losses leading to mass starvation. Even mainstream scientists say we will get that kind of climate by mid-century, Guy pushes it up a decade or so, big deal, that is hardly a radical position. Increased volcanic activity could buy us another decade, but really, that’s grasping at straws. We given rule of our planet over to these people, and all you really need to know is that they’re not going to change, they’re going to keep doing exactly what they’re doing now, and they won’t stop until the the climate itself slaps them in the face.

  • @ripley

    Arable land is your worry, then? Well we don’t need it anymore. We know how to grow in soil-less medium.

    Any other non-issues that need to be addressed?

  • @ kevin

    Thanks, I hadn’t thought of the bottle neck series, only the staircase.

    Someone calculated premature deaths from climate change are already around 300 million per annum. With the ever increasing extreme weather events, I expect that number will be constantly rising. So those people are already meeting their bottle neck.

    But the thing isn’t evenly distributed is it. Perhaps someone will do a google map thing like methane.tracker but it will be die-off.tracker, will colours representing the rates that people are failing to survive…

    @ Robin Datta

    the lag from CO2 rise to temperature rise can be decades.

    I think this has been typically rounded off to be forty years. However, from what I’m gathering, carbon sinks are getting saturated, e.g. forests in Europe, soils, etc, are no longer taking up carbon at the expected rate, so more stays in the air.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

    Personally, I think it is safe to say that we hit 6 deg C somewhere between 20 years and 120 years from today.

    We have more than 7 billion people today. Six deg C means few, if any, people.

    So somewhere in that period die-off.tracker might be a popular website for a short while, before civilisation vanishes.

  • @ulvfugl

    300 million per year? When did that rate start? If we’ve been there for a year or longer then we no longer have seven billion people on this earth. Do you have any links which has data to back up this claim? Seems a bit ridiculous.

  • muffleupagus Says: @ripley
    Arable land is your worry, then? Well we don’t need it anymore. We know how to grow in soil-less medium

    Huh? Aeroponics? Setting that up looks awfully labor and energy intensive, and then there’s the water. You’re going to do that in 100 F temps and on a scale that feeds 7 plus billion people? I don’t think you mean that, but if you mean some remnant could survive using nuke energy and other high tech, I’ve made that argument myself. Depending on how much time they have to prepare, I think it’s possible a few million could survive in some polar redoubts. For how long is anybody’s guess. It’s all highly speculative, of course. But if you’re on the George Bush family Christmas card list, or you’ve been invited to the new Royal baby shower, then you’ve got a chance to be one of the lucky few. If not, well…

  • Suggested reading topics for the more sanguine:

    Unintended consequences

    re: Nanotechnology – Grey Goo, von Neumann machines.

    re: Alternate energy – the net energy cliff

    re: Bioengineering – the histone code

    re: Alternate farming: ERoEI

    Also Tom Murphy’s blog Do the Math for space travel and the heating of the planet if unlimited sources of energy such as nuclear fusion can be harnessed. He is a practising astrophysicist and might be expected to know a thing or two on these topics.

    re: Artificial intelligence: Singularity

    – also Drik Drisya Viveka, and the Pacchadasi (links in comments to prior posts).
    (Sufficiently sophisticated intelligent systems, both wetware and hardware, all may have awarenesses, including the gigantic fungal mycelia in forests, but their inputs in the case of the mycelia are so different from our five senses, and their network connections are so much slower that their awarenesses are completely out of the realm of our imagination.)

    and also Thomas Warren Campbell: the Monroe Institute Lecture. He is a physicist who worked for NASA.

    Let none of this constrain those whose judgement is not clouded by experience.

  • It’s actually really easy to set up aquaponics. Considering the amount of resources we waste on non essentials, it’s not too much in comparison.

    You’re simply not thinking this through correctly. Seven billion sounds like a large number, but a couple of acres to feed a community is feasible. Besides, there’s a gap of seven billion between our current numbers and extinction. Try not to think psychotically, I mean in absolute black and whites. Be more fluid and sane. Might help ya out.

  • muffleupagus, you are a troll.

    There is a two post limit each day. There are archives to be read. Instead, you want to taunt. Please, instead of exposing your ignorance to all, perhaps you could educate yourself. But if you really don’t see NTE in our future, lovely for you! What the fuck are you doing here?

    KathyCassandra posted a wonderful link to a documentary called “The Battle for Chernobyl” last topic, I think. It’s on youtube. When an accident happens, the lies start immediately. It took 500,000 people (not a typo) to contain that leak, 20,000 of which are already dead. The officials just don’t count the deaths, so you don’t hear about them.

    logspirit…..I feel you. Exactly.

    Lydia, how are you doing? Happy to see your post.

  • @ muffle: Guy has a two post a day rule (to keep Ulf in check) we all honor it so we don’t get buried in Ulf…

    Here Here for T. Sunburn!

    @ Logspirit: Yes, we all know that the FBI, NSA, DHS, etc are here – they are watching us. that’s why I say I can’t wait to see the govt buildings burn and the politicians hang (I DON’T say that I want to burn any buildings myself, I just want to watch).

    I’m in the camp of the total doomers – NTE is real and it is happening NOW. People are starving in many places Right Now.

    I do agree that NTE doesn’t change much for any individual person – you can probably live your life pretty much as you always have… For me, what made the difference was realizing that Industrial Civilization is bad, oh hell, Civilization itself is bad – put two people in a cave and pretty soon you have “rules to follow.”

    Right now, for those of us in the USA, it’s all about the timeline. When? When does chaos begin? Where are the big, giant hurricanes? Where is the hyper-inflation? Where is the economic collapse? When? When will it get Really Bad? When will the grid go down (and we can no longer access NBL)?

    If the collapse is rapid and chaotic, then TPTB will not be able to control much and they will probably retire to their extensive underground bunkers. This is what I am hoping for. Pure pandemonium. Widespread panic. Chaos. Cities on fire, marauding hordes, cannibals, zombies, the works!

    If the collapse is slow and incremental, then TPTB will be in control and we will be herded into FEMA camps. Slow, miserable, death.

    It’s all about the timeline.

  • Thantos:

    It is an error to place the evidence for ET visitation on an equivalent bases with Hindu Fakers. I have been studying the perplexities of the UFO phenomena ever since I picked-up my first book from the elementary school library. The body of evidence is overwhelming. Seeing is believing. I saw my first and only UFO in Cali, Colombia. In addition to myself, there were several other witnesses. This was a solid craft that hovered silently above the city while shooting intensely focused beams of light. We watched and photographed the event for some 15 minutes. Watch this thoroughly researched Discovery channel documentary titled, “UFO Over Southern Illinois,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=618Uqte_g1I, then let me know.

  • “The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”

    — Rachel Carson

    http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1696.htm

    August 9, 2013

    Snowden Revelation Of “Solar-Virus” Armageddon Shocks World

    A grim Ministry of Health (MoH) report on information obtained from former CIA/NSA whistleblower, and “global hero to the masses,” Edward Snowden reveals the Obama regimes fears of a raging pandemic due to upcoming solar storms that, according to the Americans, “may very well alter life on this planet as we know it.”

    According to the MoH, one of the computer devices (USB flash drive) provided to Russian intelligence by Snowden contains over 20,000 pages of top-secret US Defense Department (DOD) documents related to that military institutions shocking 2004 report to then President George W. Bush that stated “climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters,” that “disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,” and concluding that “Once again, warfare would define human life.”

    Important to note about this information obtained from Snowden, this MoH report says, is that it follows a path similar to that of the 2004 Pentagon Report in that the world’s first notice of it came when it was leaked to Britain’s The Guardian Newspaper, and, like Snowden’s spying revelations to this same newspaper earlier this spring, the leakers appear to be “strongly associated” with the “President Carter-General Colin Powell Faction” currently waging a secret war against the Obama regime.

    Also important to note is that Glenn Greenwald, the US journalist based in Brazil, who published information about Snowden’s leaked NSA files in The Guardian, testified yesterday to Brazilian lawmakers that he too was still in possession of these 20,000 top-secret documents, but was still in fear of releasing them knowing the Obama regimes “open kill order” on anyone making this dire information public.

    As to the information being kept from the world’s public by the Obama regime, this MoH report continues, is that sometime this coming fall and/or winter, a massive reversal of our Sun’s magnetic field may not only “severely affect” our plants weather and disrupt radio transmissions, its ability to genetically mutate a number of deadly viruses is now occurring and with this coming “solar flip” will accelerate to “Armageddon-type proportions”.

    This MoH report further states that these DOD documents contain heretofore never released scientific documents related to the Hoyle–Wickramasinghe Model of Panspermia, which British scientists Sir Fred Hoyle and Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe revealed in 1990 were directly tied to solar activity (sunspots) to nearly every incidence of viral influenza epidemics and pandemics in human history.

    Of particular concern to DOD officials, this report says, Snowden’s leaked documents reveal are the Influenza A virus subtype H7N9 (Bird Flu) which Chinese scientists are now reporting is able to pass from human-to-human, and the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus which has killed millions of pigs in the United States this year and shows no sign of stopping.

    The MoH further says in their report on Snowden’s leaked documents that they reveal the massive ammunition purchases being made by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [1.5 billion rounds in 2012 and more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next four or five years] are in direct response to Obama regime fears of “social anarchy” developing as tens-of-millions of Americans begin to die and their economy collapses in the face of what they warn could be the worst pandemic in human history.

    Even more startling, MoH experts in this report say, is that the massive domestic spying operation currently being conducted by the Obama regime and revealed by Snowden, and in cooperation with all other Western nations, under the guise of “preventing terrorism” is, in fact, being coordinated by the US National Security Agency-Central Security Service (NSA-CSS) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in order to enable them to nearly immediately spot outbreaks, establish containment zones, and blacklist information from becoming public. [Note: The NSA-CSS is under the command of the DOD]

    The most similar type example of what the NSA-CSS/CDC is attempting, this report says, can be found by viewing the Health Map which uses global internet data to document disease outbreaks.

    However, this report says, what the NSA-CSS/CDC spying project is attempting to do is nothing short of putting a “surveillance blanket” over the entire American population that will continuously monitor these people (and those of other Western nations too) on a 24 hour basis.

    Specifically to be tracked by NSA-CSS/CDC computer monitoring algorithms, this MoH report says Snowden’s documents reveal, are internet searches relating to all illnesses, medical/medicine purchases (both over the counter and prescription), phone and email communications relating to illness, all medical records including private doctor-patient communications, GPS tracking of people (by cell phone and onboard vehicle systems) leaving infected/blockaded areas, all US Postal mailings, and too many other surveillance measures to mention in just one article.

    Interesting to note about the information contained in this MoH report, and as reported by the Infowars.Com News Service, is that the Obama regime has begun a disinformation counterattack against Snowden’s revelations by filling the internet with spurious stories claiming that he warned of a “solar flare killshot” set to wipe out hundreds of millions of people in September.

    As this MoH report, however, reveals, the dangers to our world revealed by Snowden show the grave danger our world is truly in…but with so few even knowing the truth, and others avidly seeking to keep it from being known, the final outcome will, as always, be predictable….only those who prepare will survive.

    [i’m not so sure about the conclusion.]

  • Hey ULVFUGI:

    You have handled yourself like a real gentleman, and for what it is worth, I compliment you .

  • Yes, T.Sunburn, U is a POS. He nearly ruined this site. Guy saved us all with the two post a day rule. U has narcissiztic personality disorder, he is isolated and lonely, insecure, he has lived a life of total futility. Failure upon failure is his experience. He is the kind of person one would pity if he wasnt such a jerk. He has a small following here, sycophants all.

    He DID ruin the NING site and every other site with no moderator or rules.

    Best to ignore him

  • @muffleupagus I appreciate your putting the Fukushima numbers in perspective. I suggested in my earlier comment that you should go through the discussions on Fukushima / Nuclear on the various blogposts / discussion threads on this blog. My linking out to that article was just as a reference to another tick / tock on the bomb clock, only we cannot see the dial so we don’t know how much time remains.

    Nevermind… since you do not see the whole NTE thing that some of the people here seem to be so obsessed with and I personally think that is a really good thing. Why don’t you go back to your normal life? Forget about the whole NTE like a bad dream. There is an excellent poem I can refer you to…

    Let me bequeath

    Hmm… how odd, I just noticed, there is a bunch of discussion about Fukushima on that thread, also this article about Fukushima.

    Japan Experts: Up to 93 billion becquerels a day may still be leaking into Pacific from Fukushima plant

    http://enenews.com/japan-researchers-93-billion-becquerels-day-be-leaking-pacific-fukushima-plant-cesium-levels-havent-dropped-last-year

    My friend trust mi, read the poem, wake up, shake it all off and run, run like your life depended on it and never look in the direction of NTE again.

    P.S. I think muff will be just fine. Anyone who talks to mi about NTE eventually turns away from it and never talks to mi again 😛

    To the fiddle 😀

  • @ muffleupagus

    I made a post last night addressing some of your questions

    August 19th, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    But for some reason it took several hours to appear. Since the time stamp of my last night post you have made about 8 or 9 posts so you probably didn’t see it.

    Please go back and look at it (and many of the rest of you probably missed it too).

    I’m kind of thinking you are a troll too. You don’t seem to really want to engage in discourse or share or consider some of the evidence right in front of your face; instead you keep harping on highly energy and finance intensive solutions just at the time when we are running out of energy and the world economy is collapsing. In addition the “solutions” you suggest – most of them we do not have the technology for and will not be able to implement because of restraints in actual reality, rather than the restraints which are not present in your techno-utopia fantasy.

    By the way, to some of the rest of you: thank you for the positive feedback you have provided me. And it is SunbuM not burN. No biggy.

  • Dear muffleupagus,

    The governing “Global Elite” can also be identified by “houses” or families such as the Rothschilds, Lazards, Warburgs, Seifs and Rockefellers.

    As ever,

    Steve

  • @Thanatos Sunbum I also thought your post to Muffleupagus (great name, eh?) was excellent. S/He does seem to be trolling, but time will tell. Thanks to all those politely
    explaining our two post rule, explaining and providing links.

    Has anyone else been following the Greenwald/Miranda story? The death throws of so-called “liberal democracy”… soon they won’t pretend at all anymore.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/david-miranda-interview-detention-heathrow

    It’s lovely here on my porch, all the crickets & birdies, the buzzing insects and green leaves make NTHE seem a distant delusion. It’s all so surreal. Still feeling grateful for all of you, today. So glad we have one another while we take it in and chew it up (and while some of us even try to spit it out!) Peace be with us all, at least today.

  • mo flow Says:
    August 19th, 2013 at 3:14 pm
    “enquiring minds want to know.”

    Oh well…At least my gutter-press level speculations gave you some of the pretext to fire off some good lines.. 🙂

  • Puddles,

    I hope Guy can set aside time and deal with such temerity here.

    Guy, can you please do something about this puddle situation?

  • Dear Ulvfugl,

    Regarding your comment to me at the previous essay. I know exactly why you give me the critique you do and appreciate the value of it. My ongoing challenge, I accept it for the duration.

    Dear NBL group,

    This idea of finding loopholes strikes me as looking for fire to fight fire and brings us back to the unwillingness of mankind,as product of conscious curse to heal by facing what they fear most. The place within where there is no fire and no defense. Just surrender.

  • Loopholes: a ton of energy can be wasted on looking for loopholes. I know, I spent several years doing it, trying to settle my mind. Yes, technically speaking, loopholes exist. The problem is that they are the size of the eye of a needle, and we wish to shove a 7 billion lb camel through. Nothing scales. There are oodles of plans to address our predicament. But the ones with any chance of success depend on a global consensus that does not, and will never exist. For they destroy capitalism.

    And at this late date, is it not just pissing on a forest fire?

    Hot showers and good dentistry (define good) are not that hard. Solar hot water has been around for decades. I am sure there are plant based remedies that will allow the dentist to knock the patient out and pull a bad tooth out with minimal pain (opium, datura?). But the days of 30 min showers and porcelain dentures and root canals are fading fast.

    Anyway, is anyone going to “terminate industrial civilization?” There is no serious Resistance. If there were, DHS and MI5 and their ilk would have shipped them to GITMO long ago.

    Regards,

    dweebus

  • Muffle: you will find interesting company if you look up Sean of many titles who appeared many times in comments at bygone posts and even posted an anonymous essay at NBL. It would be more sensible than preaching veganism to the hyenas here.

    Some others:
    One should exercise care with fugu. It should be avoided altogether if one cannot separate the safely edible parts from the lethal. Don’t blame the fish for its being poisonous. Just recognising that it is potentially poisonous is enough.

  • I think the ONLY thing that saves this blog is the two post rule. It’s easy enough to scroll past the poisonous fish for just two posts a day.

    But, if Mr. Sunbum and Mr. puddles want to “Scream and Shout,” I think that is okay too.

    Remember folks, this blog will not be here forever, we WILL wake up one day and “poof” – it will all be gone.

    but, when? When? I keep waiting, like the ever-pacing expectant father, waiting… When?

  • Goodness, there seem to be many new eloquent commenters here that are a pleasure (?) to read. I have asked myself what purpose this site serves, and I think I see now that there is pretty much a consensus in a loose sort of way regarding how absolutely fucked we are. We take fits of analysis about how this happened, when the turning point was, and whether or not there is any hope left, but we always come back to “no” because of genetics, thermodynamics, and various characterizations of human nature. I hope people who come here and read for a while can see the fuzzy outline of the terrible fix this planet is in because of HS, but the way the end will unfold cannot be known exactly, nor can the time line. This paralyzes some people but not others. We can speculate about why that is.

    So we content ourselves with perusing the various courses of action that have shown their faces here in guest articles and comments. Also interesting, but ultimately completely useless. The only approaches that humans have in their repertoire to face what’s coming are the same approaches that got us here in the first place. All of them pointless.

    Made sun pickles today. Harvested broccoli. Trimmed the growing tips of the tomato plants to let them know that the time for growth is over. Fall is coming and they ought to concentrate on ripening the tomatoes they have now – not making new ones. At first they don’t believe me, but I persist and they do get it eventually.

    As will we all.

  • Definitely not a troll, I’m simply seeing very poor reasoning and black and white reasoning. I’ve thought out most of what’s talked about here, and tried to provide some insight. It seems that those who are dead set in their delusions will continue on.

    I suspect Guy is unwittingly projecting his own insecurities onto the world, and you’re all failing to see the numerous holes in the reasoning.

    Two post limit thing, though. I’m just going to sit back and witness the group psychosis on this board. It’s rather interesting.

    I’m not a true troll, I’m genuinely curious to see evidence to support the claim that NTE is underway. As is, there is serious logical fallacies, half truths, terrible misunderstands, and a lack of imagination, mixed with a warped view on technological progress. Your choice to project your own madness onto the world, but do realize that you’re likely causing more harm than good to yourself and those who care for you.

  • Yes, the song has been sung…

    As far as the poisonous fish is concerned, it doesn’t take much looking around to see that the sheer volume of the activity points to a life of mental illness – isolation and desperation – and, there does not seem to be a single related piece of cyberspace that is not poisoned by the ill-tempered, know-it-all blabbermouth.

    Yes, Erin, all is completely useless, there is nothing to be done but wait and see how the events unfold. Spend all the money you have, there will be no use for it soon…

  • @ muffle:

    Some of us have made decisions that, if NTE does not begin soon, we will be definitely disadvantaged for whatever does come next. So be it. If you get the last laugh, then so be it.

    We suffer the newbies and the nonbelievers…