Protester Motivations

by Eamon Farrelly, who lives on a small homestead on the edge of Appalachia with his wife. He spent several months organizing blockades of the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. He is currently organizing new blockade efforts against the tar sands industry. To contact him concerning supporting this campaign, email him at EamonStruggle@riseup.net.

Earlier in the summer I got a call from a friend. They asked if I had checked my email yet, and told me to do so. My inbox had a message from a friend who is an anti-tarsands activist. The message contained a link and password where I could view a Power Point presentation that had been assembled by TransCanada (the Canadian oil firm behind the Keystone XL Pipeline) and presented to law enforcement agents including the FBI in Nebraska.

My mugshot was in this presentation, along with the mugshots of basically everyone else who had been arrested taking action against the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas. This presentation had been discovered by a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by BOLD Nebraska, and when the media got hold of it, one of the items they focused on the most was the fact that the presentation contained suggestions of charges to be used against anyone caught blockading construction of the pipeline, and there was even a suggestion that law enforcement look into applicable terrorism charges.

While it is frustrating to see each and every new aberration of so called “justice,” they no longer take me by surprise. We live in the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the penal system blatantly targets non-white people. We live in a country where it’s a crime to even unknowingly cause a “public disturbance” near a “security event,” yet it is not a crime contaminate the rivers with mercury or glyphosate, where it is not a crime to eliminate the last standing old growth forests, and where it is not a crime to drive up the child leukemia rate in a community by emitting toxins from refineries, so long as that community is poor and not white. Essentially, we live in a country where causing illness and death is absolutely welcomed, so long as it is done slowly and indirectly, and so long as you make a lot of money doing it. But stand on a street corner with a sign demanding accountability or climb a tree in a bulldozer’s path, and its Tasers, pepper spray, beatings, felony charges, conspiracy charges, grand jury investigations, absurdly high bails, and a corporate media that fawns over the law enforcement structure the entire time, as if causing incredible pain in someone who has dared to point out the emperor’s lack of clothing is a high and heroic calling.

Reading through the Power Point presentation, what bothered me the most was a short little section titled, “Protester Motivations.” The drafters of the presentation cherry picked three short segments of quotes people had given at various times to media personnel that contained no real content. The section painted “protesters” as aimless hobbyists who have no real qualms with the oil and gas industry, who have no understanding one way or the other concerning the ramifications of climate change, who don’t give a damn about lives being lost — human and not — at the point of extraction all the way to refinery communities. Nope, we’re just a bunch of weirdos who have nothing better to do than to be wet and cold in the back woods, like spoiled children really, who would be off spray painting walls or smoking pot in our parents basements if we weren’t “protesting.”

Again, I’m not naive. Of course TransCanada staff aren’t going to compile a presentation detailing exactly how many lies they’ve told the public, how much land they seized through eminent domain, or how much they skimp on pipeline safety; let alone rise to a level of honesty where they would own up to the poisoning of land the Athabasca Chipewyan people still live off of in Alberta, or to the level of climatic damage mining, processing, and burning tar sands is going to level on all living beings on planet Earth.

Of course, I’m not exactly sure why they would be afraid to be honest with the FBI, DHS, and local sheriffs they had the privilege to “brief.” Were they afraid that they might stumble onto a cop who actually still had a beating heart, or some still barely functioning conscience? Were they afraid that by detailing the level of atmospheric damage their product poses, a cop in the field might not goose step up to the nearest hippie chained to an excavator and issue decisive pain compliance “in the name of the law?”

My frustration is ultimately with the deception of the entire culture, the self deluding that is necessary for the entire death machine that is industrial capitalism to function. Lies, stacked on lies, buried under yet more lies, without which a dedicated FBI agent might not feel that the best use of their time was to monitor the small handful of human beings who actually care about more than televised sports and are willing to get off the couch and to demonstrate it. The same lies that corporate paper pushers tell themselves so they’ll suffer morning traffic day after day on their way to the office where they can play their small part in the mass extinction the planet is now undergoing. These are the same lies we tell ourselves when we sit back down in our houses, hiding in our comfortable lives, pretending that we have no stake in the game and that we are powerless to affect it anyway.

If the NSA, FBI, DHS, and fusion center goons are really needing to understand “protester motivations,” well hell’s bells, just ask!

Personally, my primary motivation for being away from my family and dangling sixty feet in the air is NOT WATCHING EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING I LOVE GO FUCKING EXTINCT! Yes, this is a possibility, if not a probability now! I know that your pea brains function on a need to know basis, and if someone you consider higher than you on the human hierarchy doesn’t tell you to believe something, you won’t believe it, but if you have an iota of cerebral capacity that hasn’t been completely radiated into gray mush by years of state sponsored propagandizing and Pavlovian boot licking, know this: Industrial activity has set in motion a series of events that through positive feedback loops have the very real potential of wiping out the life support systems of the planet. If there is any hope left, any at all, it is in the abolition of the fossil fuel industry, and in the dissolution of capitalism. Every time you use the force of your weaponry and your fists to remove those who are merely in the way of the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, you directly aide in the holocaust that is now consuming upwards of two hundred species per day; a holocaust which will absolutely lead to the collapse of the global biosphere if it is not immediately halted. That includes you, and your kids, and my kid, and I will not sit back and let that happen.

While we’re at it, here’s some bonus info; I’m not a “protester.” I’m a human being who gives a fuck, and who hasn’t been morally and spiritually crushed despite the best efforts of those who profit off of the silence and complacency of the masses in the face of genocide. As a person of conscience and soul, I am not willing to stand by as the forests fall, as the waters run black, and as the least among us are continually exploited and made to suffer the most.

And TransCanada, you’re Power Point got one thing right. You’ll see me again. Now go rot in hell you selfish, murderous, Eichmanns.

____________

Thanks to an abundance of contributions, there will be a new essay posted in this space every three days for the foreseeable future. McPherson’s latest for The Good Men Project kicks off a series. It appears here.

Comments 124

  • From George, a former Health Physics Technician at nuclear power plants: the danger of the rods in the spent fuel “exploding” won’t happen, it takes a massive conventional explosion to touch off a nuclear bomb.

    Unfortunately, I do agree with how deadly that drained pool could be. If just ONE spent fuel rod were placed at the endzone line of a fooball field fully shielded, and you were at the other endzone line at the opposite end of the field, if you began to run at the same time the shielding were removed, you would be dead before you reached your own goal line. Now multiply that by the actual number of rods that would become unshielded if that pool drained…

    Just wait if another quake hits Japan…

    More at EndtheLie.com – http://EndtheLie.com/2012/04/21/fukushima-is-falling-apart-are-you-ready/#ixzz2c2srs2FU

  • This statement says it all:

    “…feedback loops have the very real potential of wiping out the life support systems of the planet. If there is any hope left, any at all, it is in the abolition of the fossil fuel industry, and in the dissolution of capitalism.”

    It says it all because it says “Not Gonna’ Happen.”

    The delusion is so thick with these protesters! The Resistance is a JOKE if it does not recognize that The Solution is for 90% of the population to die (soon) but first they must help us dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization. The survivors must then live in balance with Nature, Plant No Crops, Build No Cities.

    Until the Resistance recognizes that The Solution WILL NEVER HAPPEN and NTE is already happening now, then they are just blowing Smoke – they are just wasting their time, and ours.

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

    My pennance is to not aspire.

  • And then there is outright manipulation of perception of what’s going on with environmental exploitation and destruction, including the children:

    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/mock-drill-in-hot-springs-riles-opponents-of-keystone-xl/article_bdd2ff22-732d-55cc-b113-f326375e2ab6.html

    “An emergency drill in Hot Springs has outraged opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline and a proposed uranium mine after it portrayed the groups as domestic terrorists.
    …the Hot Springs School District practiced a lockdown procedure after pretending to receive a letter from a group that wrote “things dear to everyone will be destroyed unless continuation of the Keystone pipeline and uranium mining is stopped immediately.
    …particularly concerning that children in Hot Springs were being taught to fear people who raise environmental and land-use concerns.”

    Hey, that thing dear to everyone is clean drinking water. We know who the real terrorists are.

  • Eamon, I feel you, buddy.

    Any chance you could post the link to the presentation itself? I’d love to see it.

    Green is the New Red might be interested as well.

  • @Rob
    We only need about 20% to die real soon. The 20% responsible for 80% of the consumption. I believe Vandana Shiva has noted that the global south would get along just fine if the north were to disappear.

    Of course, the wise way to proceed, instead of killing 1.2 billion Americans, Europeans, and possibly some of the more urbanized Chinese would be to just take away their toys and give them instructions on how to survive without them. Many underestimate the strength and intelligence of the urban working class. They will not just sit there and die when the water stops coming out of the tap, although some suburbanites might.

    My personal observations have shown that the urban poor will have a much better chance than the suburban middle class. When life is a struggle already, what’s one more struggle? Hopefully, many will just migrate out of the inner city and kick suburban ass. The suburbanites who survive might migrate out into the country and take the farm land over from the corporations. Although if they are smart, they will submit themselves to the Mexican farm workers for some life skills training.

    The world will turn upside down and be much better for it. Death to consumers, or at least consumerism.

    Oh, and the best chance to keep the nukes from going critical would be attacks on grid infrastructure. Why?, because there is no chance in hell those attacks will bring the whole thing down at the same time. It’s a sudden collapse of the grid that would cause the nukes to go and all those dependent on the grid to die quickly. A sudden end to the grid is more likely to be caused by collapse than by attacks.

    The DGR strategy (I like the book better than the organization BTW) is that of the soft landing. Read Aric Mcbays part of the book where the strategic and tactical work is done. Logical first target is not the grid but extreme extraction. BTW, Aric has left the DGR organization over issues of transphobia.

    Of course, peaceful means must always be used first. Even after the tactics ramp up, continue to exercise due diligence hurting only property, and don’t get caught. Killing or hurting the innocent and semi innocent really sucks for recruiting. So does getting caught.

    So far the resistance, including ELF type property destruction has an excellent safety record, unlike the fossil fuel, extraction and oppression industry. If nobody feels terrorized, i.e. truly in immediate fear of their life, it is not terrorism.

    While a few dismantle, more must protest and many more much teach life skills in a changed world. Urban community gardens might not produce enough to feed a city, but they teach urban people to grow food, a skill that will make all the difference in the world when it comes to survival, whether that involves migration to the burbs and country or staying in place.

    Yeah, I live in NE DC. Yeah I get EBT (food stamps), and yeah I am eating fresh tomatoes, cukes and squash from our garden. I also have a few wounds from high contact protest at Tar sands and other environmental targets around the city. I have a few arrests and more bruises. It’s not over till it’s over. I’m 62, what have I got to lose in resisting? They gonna kill me? To late, I have already lived. Put me in jail for life? How much life is left for them to take?

    Seems to me, I got the bastards over a barrel.

  • Eamon,

    I would be interested to get your feedback on my website:

    walkaway2014.com

    If enough individuals stand up, will it just be another World Oil War I bloodbath again, drones and all?

    Alternatively, if only a few stand up, will it be extinction for all?

    What a choice….Oh, third option…..

    Head in sand, and stay asleep!!
    Cheers Bro

  • Flaky wifi today, so i’ll fire this out fast, not knowing when i’ll get cut off.

    That last thread was prime contributions from everyone!!! and this one is starting off really, really fine. Love the direction Guy is taking us, long overdue. Invite these contributors — the young with a future to defend. If this “miracle” of instant communication by Internet can gain us anything, this might be a part of it. Small hopes in hard times.

    Have Aric’s DEW chapter halfway read on another reading machine, and the DGR material is foundational and very complete. Perhaps a post here to present for discussion? Can’t help thinking of the French Resistance, and all the complex issues they went through. Read the Wiki for starters.

    Only, this time, there’s likely no Allies coming for D-Day. We’re on our own. Issues like, every time you take a poke, the Nazis line up 10 of your village neighbors and machine-gun them down.

    Hey — the USA hired the “retired” Nazis to run intel ops post-WW2, we went up against identical mentality during Vietnam. What has changed? Now it’s the entire planet getting destroyed in order to “save” an economic regime. Same operation, better managed? Plus ca change…

    Intellectuals like Camus, Sartre, Simone Weil expressed many of the frustrations and dilemmas as we do here. Humans have been through similar traumas before — rape of Nanking comes to mind — the Shoah, Holocaust — the shock of finding out the unthinkable things that were done, mechanistically, by a supposedly-cultured nation. I grew up during the time of those realizations dawning, slowly but shockingly, on the adults around me. (Most kept it out of polite conversation, however. Never in my home.)

    Just not on the scale we’re at now. No Eisenhower lining up ships on the south coast of England, no Guderian with several thousand tanks and millions of troops moving westward. We’re really SOL this time, but still facing the same Evil intent. Our essayist above really delineates the mentality of those we’re up against — the banality of Evil, trying to hide itself behind our everyday routine complicities, but Evil nonetheless.

    It is a massive mental purging that awaits humanity, the cognitive dissonance growing, hopefully bubbling up from beneath the surface of apathy. If we are to go out, at least let us go out at our best, as men and women “of parts”.

    We’re in familiar territory, where others have walked before, but we’re breaking new ground.

  • And just to clear my rep as an historian, I meant Zhukov, not Guderian. Don’t want to score any “own goals” to my record. No Sympathies for those particular Devils.

  • Rob no one said the rods would explode, at least I did not, or if I ever did I mispoke. They would burn. If the presented no danger there would be no need to cool them would there? Ask your friend about that. Also ask your friend if the rods in the fuel pools in the US are put in at the density originally planned, or if they are in fact at a much higher density because the nuclear industry doesn’t want to spend the money to dry cask them.

    Arnie Gundersen has stated that each year that goes by for Fukushima reduces the risk of such a fire because the rods cool over time. So how old the rods are in any pool changes the dynamic. They have to cool I believe he said 5 years before they can be put in dry cask.

    In Fuel-Cooling Pools, a Danger for the Longer Term
    By WILLIAM J. BROAD and HIROKO TABUCHI
    Even as workers race to prevent the radioactive cores of the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan from melting down, concerns are growing that nearby pools holding spent fuel rods could pose an even greater danger.
    Multimedia

    The pools, which sit on the top level of the reactor buildings and keep spent fuel submerged in water, have lost their cooling systems and the Japanese have been unable to take emergency steps because of the multiplying crises.

    By late Tuesday, the water meant to cool spent fuel rods in the No. 4 reactor was boiling, Japan’s nuclear watchdog said. If the water evaporates and the rods run dry, they could overheat and catch fire, potentially spreading radioactive materials in dangerous clouds….fire, nuclear experts say, the high heat would loft the radiation in clouds that would spread the radioactivity.

    “It’s worse than a meltdown,” said David A. Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists who worked as an instructor on the kinds of General Electric reactors used in Japan. “The reactor is inside thick walls, and the spent fuel of Reactors 1 and 3 is out in the open.”
    rest at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16fuel.html?_r=0

    Gundersen states that in a blackout it would be at least a week without cooling before any reactor in the US boiled off all the cooling water. So the powers that be have determined that power would never be off for more than a week. Although diesel backup pumps are required for the reactor with 1 weeks worth of fuel, no backup pumps are required for the spent fuel pools. In the case of Sandy where a spent fuel pool was without cooling for some days, the backup if necessary was going to be fire trucks spraying water on the pool. Nice eh. But the indicates that they know that after a week without power they have to do something.

  • Thanks, Eamon. I marvel when I come across courageous people like you.

    “Of course, I’m not exactly sure why they would be afraid to be honest with the FBI, DHS, and local sheriffs they had the privilege to “brief.” Were they afraid that they might stumble onto a cop who actually still had a beating heart, or some still barely functioning conscience? Were they afraid that by detailing the level of atmospheric damage their product poses, a cop in the field might not goose step up to the nearest hippie chained to an excavator and issue decisive pain compliance…”

    I agree with the implication that law enforcement are susceptible to understanding and caring about the evil being done to all they hold dear. I hope and pray that a lot more people will catch on to the need to “turn” law enforcement toward sanity and enlightened self interest.

    May the force be with you.

  • I used to love these articles which called upon humans to act. Even if not for victory, simply for the moral imperative to fight the good fight. Sometimes, just sometimes, I almost lapse back, almost start thinking about protesting.

    And each time I start to lapse into wishful thinking, I remember da Bomb. Hey, wait a minute, what about all those nukes? (Be it plants or bombs or research equipment, is it really important to classify them, they are all going to go off sooner or later)

    Aaand back to the real world.

    Another nuclear plant is starting its operations in India. There was a serious amount of protest, but alas, there it stands a shiny new nuclear plat, all geared up and ready to make its contribution to humanity’s cherished cause, causing our own extinction.

    Whaat err… I mean the production of electricity and consequent growth in productivity and GDP. After all India is heading for a sub 5% growth year, oh the horros!

    Today speaking on the occasion of our Independence Day our PM assures, that soon all will be well and we will be back to full fledged growth.

    Phew… What would we do without growth? If there were no nuclear plant? Coal plants? If no ones vehicle had any air in their tires? Would the process of filling them up cause a boost to the GDP?

    Anyway I digress, here is the article. What I found most fascinating about the article was the comments. Which actually tells you why this madness is not going to stop, till we are wiped out completely.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kundakulam-AERB-gives-green-signal-to-produce-500MW-of-power/articleshow/21844456.cms

    History tells us, it does not matter, North / South / East / West, a bunch of humans survive and they will come up up with a novel way to commit suicide. But I am willing to ignore that facet of being human.

    Hey am human, I can ignore random important stuff if I wish to 😉

    Till someone comes up with a good / valid response to the nuclear problem, all I can say is to each, pick your poison.

    I, I will just play the fiddle.

  • Interesting piece over on RealClimate:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/08/the-inevitability-of-sea-level-rise/

    Their model calls for “…in total sea level rises quasi-linearly by about 2.3 metres for each degree of global warming…”, over a period of 2000 years or so.

    The only linear relationship I can think of in the natural world is Ohm’s Law, and I can’t tell you why there is even one. So I’m suspicious that it may be over-simplified.

    Guy in his Climate Change Summary quotes from COP15:


    THE LONG-TERM SEA LEVEL THAT CORRESPONDS TO CURRENT CO2 CONCENTRATION IS ABOUT 23 METERS ABOVE TODAY’S LEVELS, AND THE TEMPERATURES WILL BE 6 DEGREES C OR MORE HIGHER. THESE ESTIMATES ARE BASED ON REAL LONG TERM CLIMATE RECORDS, NOT ON MODELS

    So the records indicate 3.8 meters per degree C.

  • @ Jesse
    Thank you for the comment re: Aric McBay leaving DGR; I hadn’t heard and I’m not surprised. I have been banned from the Derrick Jensen forum twice for thinking and asking difficult questions. 90% of the people on NBL would be banned for any of the comments they make here. Derrick controls his band of slavering sycophants with an iron fist and has the final word on everything whether he knows what he is talking about or not. Derrick is the future insofar as most revolutions remove a tyranny of some sort and replace it with a tyranny of some sort. If Jensen had any real power he would be frightening to perceive being the rigid-minded control-freak he seems to be. I have had personal correspondence with L. Keith and she seems to me to be the embodiment of pure anger – at least she wasn’t very nice to me when I asked a couple of hard questions.

    For more on the DGR anti-trans stance check out Aric McBay’s comment on his website: “This is a note I sent to Decolonizing Yoga after their piece on DGR and transphobia was posted.”
    http://www.aricmcbay.org/

    and this is the article to which he is referring:
    http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/how-derrick-jensens-deep-green-resistance-supports-transphobia/

    and a third perspective here:
    http://en.paperblog.com/no-room-for-dissenting-opinions-statement-from-a-former-member-of-deep-green-resistance-532022/

    I find it SO ironic that Jensen, after all his eco-blah-blah and especially after The Culture of Make Believe which is essentially a screed against racism, that he would be trans-phobic and just as prejudiced and discriminatory as anyone he mentions in that book. I kind of think this makes the point I raised in the last thread that H. sapiens is despicable and even the “best” amongst us are still paranoid, power-hungry shits.

    Someone in the last thread made some sort of objection to my statement of “that is just what we do.” I would like to elaborate using the example of rats in your corn-crib or a fox in your hen-house or a rat in your baby’s crib or mice in your kitchen cupboard: you WILL kill them to protect your hens or corn or baby or Cheerios. We call these elements in the environment VERMIN and they include everything from bed-bugs to wolves in some people’s minds. So now pull back, back, back to outer space and look at the planet, once fecund, now in ruin and see if you can avoid perceiving H. sapiens as anything but vermin. Like rats we have eaten everything, ruined everything, destroyed everything and shit and pissed on everything. We ARE an evolutionary mistake – Primate vermin.

    Regarding U’s comment we are the consciousness of the Universe, I’d say that is insulting to the Universe to suggest that vermin like H. sapiens are the vehicle of It’s consciousness. As far as I can see, we are NOT conscious in any way or we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing. Moreover, as far as I know there is no widely accepted definition or understanding of what “consciousness” actually is in human terms; hard to imagine what “consciousness” means to an infinite Universe. Calling us the consciousness of the Universe is the rankest anthropocentric egoism.

    On another subject, here is the future of alternative energy:

    U.S. Nuclear Weapons Facility to Be Powered by the Largest Federal Wind Farm
    “The Energy Department today broke ground on the nation’s largest federally-owned wind project at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. Once completed, this five-turbine 11.5 megawatt project will power more than 60 percent of the plant with wind energy and reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 metric tons per year—equivalent to taking 7,200 cars off the road. The Pantex Plant is the primary site for the assembly, disassembly, and maintenance of the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile.“

    Full article here:
    http://en.paperblog.com/us-nuclear-weapons-facility-to-be-powered-by-the-largest-federal-wind-farm-619273/

    Someone in the last thread said something about this being a great time to be alive. Sure, I suppose. Considering history is merely the story of horror, enslavement and genocide maybe being poisoned by Fukishima fallout or dieing of heat or flood or civil disobedience or resorting to cannibalism may be someone’s idea of a good time to be alive but I don’t think so. Especially if you are say 25, newly married, a child on the way, waking up to the prospect of a horrific future (including the possibility of eating your own child as so often happens in famine) leading to extinction. I now so regret not having children because they are missing out on this great time to be alive.

  • Jacob Horner, thank you for the links. I knew I had heard about what Eamon was writing about before. I follow Will Potter’s work closely.

    Some of the rancher comments quoted by testicularly impaired TransCanada made me smile, though. I figure if George Zimmerman can get away with it, maybe someone somewhere will try the stand your ground approach.

    On a related note, Concord NH just said no to a tank for their police force. Sanity prevails in some places on some issues. Sometimes.

  • Whoa there, Thanatos Sunbum

    Regarding U’s comment we are the consciousness of the Universe, I’d say that is insulting to the Universe to suggest that vermin like H. sapiens are the vehicle of It’s consciousness. As far as I can see, we are NOT conscious in any way or we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing. Moreover, as far as I know there is no widely accepted definition or understanding of what “consciousness” actually is in human terms; hard to imagine what “consciousness” means to an infinite Universe. Calling us the consciousness of the Universe is the rankest anthropocentric egoism.

    Let’s straighten that out a little bit, shall we…

    If you were not conscious, you would not know anything about any of this. So there is a something, and we’re calling it consciousness, and I agree, nobody can agree precisely what it is, or even agree on a dictionary definition.

    So, it’s problematic and a contested area. But everybody agrees that there is something called consciousness. Ok ?

    And there’s that big fucking cosmic Universe, that supposedly Big Banged itself into existence. And it’s made of stuff. And that stuff has spent 13.5 billions of years or whatever it is, making galaxies and whatnot, and here on Earth, 4,500 million years evolving life forms until it ended up making a thing called US, which has the ability to look out and SEE all that.

    NOW, if YOU can’t see that as being pretty fucking amazing, then I’m sorry for YOU.

    AS for humans, as a species, being ignorant loathsome vermin, well, yes, a large percentage of them are, and a small percentage of them are not, and the number that actually come consciously to the realisation that they are the consciousness of the Universe, amongst which I include myself, is a rather small fraction. Maybe 1% or so ?

    I hope that helps you to understand my position and what I meant by what I said.

    Or is it that you just want to pick a fight with me, if so, then please feel free to go for it, I’ll be happy to oblige you…

    Otherwise, please try to be polite. I don’t give a shit, but other people here do.

  • No time to fight, how bout doing something productive instead.

  • I enjoyed the introduction to your series on questioning culture Guy, but I encourage you to include the concept of the origins of these external manifestations from our inner mental constructs or consciousness. This still relatively unexplored neural landscape must be reconstructed as it’s current construct is examined and found to be as out dated, unsustainable and turning deadly, just like the outer world of our making mirrors so perfectly for us to see.

    As far as what an outsiders take on activists goes, it is an issue that could be fleshed out beyond knee jerk us and them platitudes. When my ex and I were embroiled in one of these pipeline fiascos, it was clear to me that those questioning the necessity, safety and wisdom of the pipeline were often undermined by what appeared to be odd self expressions of look at me I’m an activist sob stories. Riddled with bizarre boot licking to our local reps. Actually I don’t even know how to appropriately describe my experience in the melee other than I ended up thoroughly disgusted with both sides. Both did seem driven by extremely narrow self interest though one side iron fuel and hard methodology that pushed them forward while the other side was doing a very odd dance of anger and fear. This is specific to the one time I was directly put into the line of fire of activism. I’ll never forget how afraid everyone at the grass roots level was, no voice and afraid to use theirs. When I stood up at a town hall meeting and challenged my state rep and would not back down as he tried to mealy mouth his way out of a firm response, people could not believe I got him to finally speak his solidarity with the people he was representing. I mean there were a line of people wanting to shake my hand, tears in their eyes for what I stood for. I was privately horrified as I felt what I was doing everyone should always be doing. Democracy right? You get into the front lines of this stuff and the complexity, personal agendas and an everyone for themselves prevailing attitude serves up a big cold cup of it’s hopeless because the solidarity on one side is so coldly inhumane and profit driven, while on the other side a kind of helpless untrusting sleepy desperation prevails. Well, I am probably not doing justice to my story and will ultimately ruffle feathers but it made me pretty mad that it seemed all but certain the reason the pipeline company would inevitably win was caused by just as glaring of human faults on one side, as the other. I think the lesson to take away is if you want to bat for nature you better take a hard look at your own human short comings in playing to win for her and all that you love because otherwise you’ll keep hitting easy outs.

  • I enjoyed the introduction to your series on questioning culture Guy, but I encourage you to include the concept of the origins of these external manifestations from our inner mental constructs or consciousness. This still relatively unexplored neural landscape must be reconstructed as it’s current construct is examined and found to be as out dated, unsustainable and turning deadly, just like the outer world of our making mirrors so perfectly for us to see.

    As far as what an outsiders take on activists goes, it is an issue that could be fleshed out beyond knee jerk us and them platitudes. When my ex and I were embroiled in one of these pipeline fiascos, it was clear to me that those questioning the necessity, safety and wisdom of the pipeline were often undermined by what appeared to be odd self expressions of look at me I’m an activist sob stories. Riddled with bizarre boot licking to our local reps. Actually I don’t even know how to appropriately describe my experience in the melee other than I ended up thoroughly disgusted with both sides. Both did seem driven by extremely narrow self interest though one side iron fuel and hard methodology that pushed them forward while the other side was doing a very odd dance of anger and fear. This is specific to the one time I was directly put into the line of fire of activism. I’ll never forget how afraid everyone at the grass roots level was, no voice and afraid to use theirs. When I stood up at a town hall meeting and challenged my state rep and would not back down as he tried to mealy mouth his way out of a firm response, people could not believe I got him to finally speak his solidarity with the people he was representing. I mean there were a line of people wanting to shake my hand, tears in their eyes for what I stood for. I was privately horrified as I felt what I was doing everyone should always be doing. Democracy right? You get into the front lines of this stuff and the complexity, personal agendas and an everyonPe for themselves prevailing attitude serves up a big cold cup of it’s hopeless because the solidarity on one side is so coldly inhumane and profit driven, while on the other side a kind of helpless untrusting sleepy desperation prevails. Well, I am probably not doing justice to my story and will ultimately ruffle feathers but it made me pretty mad that it seemed all but certain the reason the pipeline company would inevitably win was caused by just as glaring of human faults on one side, as the other. I think the lesson to take away is if you want to bat for nature you better take a hard look at your own human short comings in playing to win for her and all that you love because otherwise you’ll keep hitting easy outs.

  • @Eamon, Thanks for your post and for your courageous actions on behalf of the earth and her denizens. I imagine it was quite shocking to find out you had been directly targeted like that. I especially appreciated your analysis of the absurd misrepresentation of protestor’s motivations. I think this is a very important issue.

    I lived in Toronto through the G20. It was terrifying. Many posted videos demonstrated that the police had been similarly indoctrinated: they appeared to be terrified, themselves (and angry). They believed and acted as though they were facing a very imminent threat of “deadly terrorism.” It was easy to see how this lead to their intensification of the oppression and violence against protestors. It may also to be the reason they allowed the black block tactics to go unchallenged as the riot down Toronto’s main street took place: Also possible is that they wanted property damage as an excuse for using more violence.

    {also @badlands AK] I lived in a “high risk” neighbourhood, Cndn version of a ghetto. Kinda ghetto-light :). We had roaming hoards of 6-20 bicycle officers intimidating us for a week leading up to the G20. On the day the environmental protest marched peacefully past my son’s school, the school went into lockdown. The panic had spread to the school board, as well. later we found out they had been “advised” by police to “take precautions.” An insane society, this one, teaching children environmentalism in class, encouraging them to become “protector’s of the earth” and then locking them in to protect them from the grown-up kids who marched because they’d been taught to believe it was their civic duty to do so. Many of these well-indoctrinated young adults were, of course, illegally searched, seized, assaulted and detained en masse. What are we doing to our kids?!

    It seems to me that police officers are being duped. They are taught to confuse civil demonstrations with terrorist attacks. It both ridiculous and dangerous. Given that the cop culture already believes they stand as some “thin blue line” between “the good citizens” and the “criminal element”, already excuse much of their own authoritarian behaviour and that of their “brethren” as necessary to “win this war on crime” or as forgivable because they are “misunderstood and under stress”…well, the amping-up around terrorism probably rings true for them. TPTB are fully aware that the wall came down in the former USSR because the army refused to fire on the protestors. In industrialized societies with our militarized police departments, it is absolutely necessary that they throw in with “us” if any kind of revolutionary change is to occur.

    i agree with Artleads on that one.

    @Rob, I wasn’t actually expecting the fuel rods to explode. However, Nicole Foss suggests in this interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz6EA9Bu3iY that may be what happened at Reactor 3 in Fukushima. Perhaps she’s wrong that this is a possibility. However, she is actually an expert in nuclear power-related risk. I’d say, despite your friend’s reassurances, it’s a real threat.

    I also agree with Kathy C — who has clearly delved into the issue extensively. (@ Kathy C: thanks for keeping us informed!

    Foss comes from a peak oil perspective and extensively assessed Chernobyl and the risks in Russia as their collapse occurred. She doubts any country with declining access to fossil fuels could maintain care or decommission nuclear reactors safely. She mentions risks related to electrical grid breakdowns.

    i believe we are looking at more than just fuel rod fires should the grid go down. I think we get meltdowns and explosions in the reactors themselves. All nuclear reactors are grid dependent.

    @KK – I really appreciated your post on the last thread in which you bemoaned the state of aloneness “we who have seen and cannot look away” can feel in our communities. I also value NBL as a “sanctuary” of awareness. it moved me to think of you, so far away from my small Canadian hometown, feeling the way i do. Thx.

  • @ulvfugl You wrote thusly, “AS for humans, as a species, being ignorant loathsome vermin, well, yes, a large percentage of them are, and a small percentage of them are not, and the number that actually come consciously to the realization that they are the consciousness of the Universe, amongst which I include myself, is a rather small fraction. Maybe 1% or so ?”

    I think the Universe may be well pleased with the 1% mentioned above. It may be that the creation of such, cosmic, or universal consciousness in the individual, will contribute something of great importance to the ongoing evolutionary mix of All That Is. Is there a goal? Is there a purpose? I like to think SO.

    If stars hadn’t exploded, we would not have had the heavier elements and thus, no life. I can’t prove it, but I like to believe that higher consciousness, Oneness With All, contributes to an outcome. And I want to be a part of that!

  • I agree, the protesters, the resisters, are a sham. Hold up their signs and then drive their SUVS home to their cable tv and microwave ovens.

    If DGR is transphobic, who cares, they are freaks and make up a ridiculously small percentage of the population – who cares? I’m not into persecuting anyone, live and let live, seems stupid to me to discount anyone that wants to contribute, but, also, I support their freedom to do so. The Resistance is the most futile of all endeavors, I feel sorry for them.

    I am an empty shell, I go to work, I pay my bills, I hate my life. I can’t wait for SHTF so I can lay down and die. In the meantime, I’ve spent my entire 401K, I live paycheck to paycheck and spend every dime on the most fleeting creature comforts. However, I don’t eat pacific salmon or alaskan king crab anymore – just Black Angus beef and lots and lots of farm-raised Tilapia that is probably full of toxins from agricultural run-off.

    The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT)
    The One Commandment:“Thou shalt not procreate”

    the Church of Euthanasia
    save the planet, kill yourself

    Jesse’s Church of Euthanasia
    save the planet, kill yourself, and take some poor slob with you.

  • Higher consciousness is a sham. We eat, we sleep, repeat.

  • @ Pat

    You state:

    “If DGR is transphobic, who cares, they are freaks and make up a ridiculously small percentage of the population – who cares?”

    Who cares? Well…..let me think, I wonder who here cares about DGR? Might it be the Guy whose blog you’re commenting on. I suggest you might want to think before you type.

    I’ve actually come to appreciate the honesty of the Pat who is just staring out the window on the train, but the Pat who is openly calling “us” freaks……….please don’t give me cause to make you hate me more than you already do.

  • @ Kirk H.

    I think the Universe may be well pleased with the 1% mentioned above. It may be that the creation of such, cosmic, or universal consciousness in the individual, will contribute something of great importance to the ongoing evolutionary mix of All That Is. Is there a goal? Is there a purpose? I like to think SO.

    If stars hadn’t exploded, we would not have had the heavier elements and thus, no life. I can’t prove it, but I like to believe that higher consciousness, Oneness With All, contributes to an outcome. And I want to be a part of that!

    I don’t really know about any of that, in the sense that, I don’t think it can usefully be put into english verbal form that means anything, without diminishing it.
    Some say that the Buddha’s ultimate teaching was when he held up a flower and the other guy smiled.

    I don’t think there is going to be any ‘outcome’. I think we are going into a mass extinction event and that cannot be avoided.

    What Thanatos Sunbum said Calling us the consciousness of the Universe is the rankest anthropocentric egoism. means that he/she misunderstands what I’m talking about. To understand means shedding all anthropocentrism and shedding all egoism ( or egotism, I think there is some technical difference, of definition, not that it matters ).

    What it means is to get past the whole thing of being limited by social and cultural conditioning, and your own personal small identity, with all its petty concerns. It’s a fairly easy thing to have, briefly, to get a glimpse of, people see it when they fall in love, or on drug trips, at raves, climbing mountains, whatever, but to make it all day everyday life is something else.

    And then what ? When nobody else around see the world that way, you’re an isolated outcast, unless you want to become a fucking monk or sign up and join a cult or something.

    But if you really get it, you’re so humble and awed that you’d NEVER do anything to hurt this biosphere, if you could possibly help it.

    I know it’s impossible to live without hurting or harming something, just by existing, the Jains filter their water and brush their paths so as not to tread on insects, and so forth, and the Bishnoi will not cut living trees, and so forth, but we all have to eat something, and just by being and occupying space we disturb other beings. But there’s a huge difference between deep respect and care, and total disrespect, contempt, reckless disregard, treating the world like a worthless garbage dump…

    Even to try to be considerate to the living planet is remarkable. That’s not on the agenda of standard Western materialist capitalist culture AT ALL, is it. The attitude is MOVE or we bring the explosives, guns, bulldozers, chemicals, and reformat the whole fucking landscape any way we want it to be, like it was a factory floor, regardless, because we have DOMINION, and it’s our right.

    That’s the mentality. That’s the psychopathology.

    When did that start ? Gobekli Tepe ? Hunter gatherers did that. It pre-dates agriculture.

    I don’t feel sympathetic toward this Lundin guy, dunno, perhaps he’s ok, but I don’t feel it, but I post the link for the Wade Davis quote.

    http://thelundintimes.blogspot.co.uk/

  • “The greenhouse gas emissions of the last few decades now mean that regions of the planet subjected to extreme heat will double by 2020 and quadruple by 2040.”

    http://ecowatch.com/2013/more-heatwaves-2020/

  • @Pat,
    Higher consciousness is a sham. We eat, we sleep, repeat.

    Well now, you have certainly not been enlightened. There is much more than that; What about root canals, wisdom teeth extraction, colonoscopies, and getting to wear baby diapers again in ripe old age?

    Nah, actually I do think there is more – and when I find it I will share.

  • Summary of Permanence from the preceding essay:
    The only permanence is energy flows to increase entropy, a Permanence projected to be impermanent due to The Heat Death of the Universe. The permanence of change: the permanence of impermanence. Translated into the language of techno-industrial society/civilisation it is the delusive permanence of “progress”/”growth”: delusive because of the impermanence of ever-increasing energy flows. It is the extinction of mega (and even non-mega) fauna (and flora as well), the conversion of resources via products into wastes, whether they be “disposables” in landfills and plastics in oceanic gyres, or “durables” like the Pyramid & the Parthenon; and sequestered sunshine into greenhouse gases.

    Unwittingly reflecting this are the slogans of the first Obama presidential campaign. The only Hope™ is for Change™, cloaked in the delusion of permanence.

  • @Lorraine What are we doing to our kids?!

    I can tell you exactly what we are doing to our kids. We are wasting them. And I don’t mean as a commodity or resource to be exploited, but their creativity, intelligence, and wisdom. I spend all day, every day caring for my young children, and when I make a conscious effort to just kind of get out of the way and really listen and see, I notice what would easily be missed, or even dismissed, in the daily routine.

    What I notice is that these are amazing people. I watch them approach dilemmas and solve problems, and what always stands out, is that their methodology and reasoning is so completely different from my own (and their way often makes far more sense). I find myself thinking, “I never would’ve done it that way”, or “I never would’ve thought of that”. And so I try not to be over-bearing, I try not to impose. I don’t want to put out that spark or muddy their waters with my own polluted world-view.

    Think back to when you were a kid and really try to remember how you interacted with the world. Above, ulvfugl talks about consciousness, saying, I don’t think it can usefully be put into english verbal form that means anything, without diminishing it.
    Things just ARE, until we learn the words for them and start trying to label them, we find it so difficult to just live and let live. I once attempted for years to ‘agree to disagree’ with an ex-brother-in-law so that I could have a relationship with my sister and nieces, but I found out the hard way that some people can’t do that. They can’t bury the hatchet, they carry around anger and false narratives, projecting it all onto others. When kids happen to be in the path of someone like that, or an entire society like that, well, it ruins them to some degree, ruins the inherent trust they have in the natural world, trust that we all were born with.

    It happened to me, but I was able to recognize it for what it was and shed that skin.
    Now, I am a happy enchilada! https://youtu.be/cNu46mpJC60

    @pat & Bailey
    Don’t forget to brush your teeth, too, between all that eating and sleeping!

  • While heading off our own extinction is apparently a futile endeavor at this late stage of the process, the effort to try to save as many other species as we can might as well be made… even if it is also ultimately futile.

    I cannot explain the reason to make this effort to a person who is so sick and lost that they no longer comprehend the value of life – even their own. All I can say to them is to heal themselves, and then, perhaps, eventually, they will begin to gain the capacity to appreciate life. Of course, to gain healing, they need some appreciation of life… and that paradox is what I will attempt to address… in the entire contents of this post. To get my point will require taking it all in whole, comprehensively. Some may be incapable of doing that… or not want to.

    I say it is the effort that counts, not how that effort is designed in particular. Even the generally inefficacious efforts of school children – at least as far as direct large scale results are concerned – still has some effect on adults who happen to be paying some attention, who still, to some degree, care. Who still have some strength, and enough health, to care.

    The way I see it, we have just two choices: we can continue to be acquiescent zombies to TPTB -or- we can make whatever effort we, in our tired and stressed out lives, can make.

    Naturally, the healthier a person is, the better they eat and manage their bodies and minds, the better they integrate with all the life around them, the more effective they are. Avoiding toxic influences like mainstream media, meat, mercury and other pollutants as much as possible is part of this prescription. Forming or joining a community of others who provide each other with mutual intellectual and emotional support goes a long way. We (should) know all this by now.

    But… Instead, as a society, on average, we’re allowing ourselves to get sicker, weaker, ever more defenseless as we, and the life around us decline. We’re enabling our murderers by not clearly examining our own lifestyle choices. By thinking of ourselves as… by buying into absurd arguments that we are choice_less we become co-conspirators to the crime. Their preachers tell them, and they will mechanically recite to you that everything is predetermined. They will tell you to just give up shithead, we rule – you are nothing but a meat robot. (Well, if that is what you eat… perhaps you are.)

    I think it is important to comprehend how the microcosm of our individual lives and states of health are reflected in the macrocosm around us, and vice versa. To comprehend how they each impact upon the other in a holistic way. To comprehend how we are victims that have been turned into victimizers. With each species we drive extinct, we get weaker. It is important to comprehend how this viscous cycle takes us down into states of impotent depression, to the point of total lack of willpower to even try to try anymore. We get so sick that sickness seems normal. Some even make bizarre defenses for their ‘right’ to be sick, and actually promote sickness. It is important to see how this process is used to suppress protest and efforts for positive change, how it is used to oppress us politically and to drive us to extinction. How the sick have even turned efforts for positive change into a sick evil depressing joke. Few other things show as clearly just how sick they really are.

    There is a choice, try… or… just roll over and turn on the stupid TV, order a fat pizza delivery and pig out until the hearse arrives. That is a choice! While there is life, there is choice: Choose to passively participate in the sickness, killing and dying, or wake up and choose strength and make an effort, any effort, to try to live well and save life. One path is healthy, the other is sick. One is empowering, the other is hypnotic obeisance to mentally ill manipulators who do not value life. Choose. Which path will you take? Will you follow sickness to the grave or lead the way to healthy life?

  • Yes, this is a possibility, if not a probability now!

    Suggested reading: Nature Bats Last: We’re Done

    set in motion a series of events that through positive feedback loops have the very real potential of wiping out the life support systems of the planet.

    The feedback loops are the choir of fat ladies. They have begun singing.

    “the opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” – Ralph Carpenter

    (It bas been noted that;
    “Unfortunately, sopranos who sing like birds eat like horses, and vice versa.” – Thomas Beecham

    There is a “sound” physiological and anatomical reason for this. The narrower the airway, the higher the pitch; the more hemmed in by adiposity, the narrower the airway.)

    If there is any hope left, any at all,

    This is where the invincibility of hopelessness trumps hope. Where acting on the basis of anticipations and projections, but without expectations, produces results that elicit neither elation nor dejection.

    As a person of conscience and soul,

    There is no “soul”, and also no “person” for a soul:


    The Diamond Sutra: A New Translation – by Alex Johnson, Chapter 14:

    “they have ceased to cherish any arbitrary notions of their own selfhood, other selves, living beings, or a universal self. Why? Because if they continue to hold onto arbitrary conceptions as to their own selfhood, they will be holding onto something that is non-existent. It is the same with all arbitrary conceptions of other selves, living beings, or a universal self. These are all expressions of non-existent things.”

  • The sickness becomes nihilistic. Those who succumb to the Death Culture become its minions, and try to suck others in. Misery loves company, and approval. Choose: Health or Sickness? Life or Death?

    Again, there are those who choose the path of non-understanding, obfuscation and denial – even of Life itself. They choose to follow the Death Culture. That is a choice. All I can do is have compassion for them, for their misery and ignorance and self imposed suffering, and try to show them the path to health… and defend their victims from them.

  • As far as I can see, we are NOT conscious in any way or we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing. Moreover, as far as I know there is no widely accepted definition or understanding of what “consciousness” actually is in human terms; hard to imagine what “consciousness” means to an infinite Universe.”

    The “Universe” has no consciousness. It is a part of the construct from the inputs of the five senses. Attempts to define or describe consciousness conflate awareness with consciousness. Awareness is consciousness with content. The content itself is not conscious. The only awareness I experience is my own. All others presumed awarenesses are projections – constructs in themselves – derived from other constructs. Any presumptions one may harbour that they are not meat-robots, but have awareness of their own, is only a surmise.

    The word “consciousness” is a concept/construct, referring to some”thing” – another concept/construct entirely bereft of descriptors and characteristics, therefore called the Sunyata (Void) in Buddhism, and the Ain Sof (Limitless Emptiness) in Judaism. Its only content is it, hence explicitly in Vedic traditions (and implicitly in the others) it has self-awareness.

  • @logspirit

    I hear you logspirit. I like what you have to say.

    I was hiking in black bear country the other day. I didn’t see any bears but I did find myself in a forest of two hundred and fifty to three hundred (estimate) year old Pinus strobus. Magnificent! Canning up some organically grown ‘Redhaven’ peaches today. Got quite a crop.

    Speakin’ of bears…..

  • Keystone XL (KXL) is the line in the sand. Bill McKibben, Eamon Farrelly and Jim Hansen are right.

    Stopping KXL will do nothing to avert climate disaster and NTE. Guy McPherson is right.

    A third way: This could demand unprecedentedness on every level. It requires going with the flow, using all available flows and energies-dreams, hard knowledge, protest, politics, research, faith, creativity, innovation, stubborn continuity, systemic contradictions–toward an unknown outcome. The underlying supposition is that whatever people believe and do make a difference. Nothing is neutral.

  • The Church of Fukushima

    Come all ye faithful,
    Irradiant and Triumphant,
    Come ye, oh Come Ye,
    Spent Fuel Rods and More.

    Sorry, the sickness just coming out, a purge if you like.

    So many passionate posts.
    Badlands
    you have the real way through with the children. If only more parents had the same instincts and subtlety – makes one sick to think of all those lost parents who let the kid cry – some fancy name for neglecting to love your child, or other.
    If there is any healthy genome around in 2030, etc. it will be this group of kids who will take the bit in their mouth and slog out a way to survive. The only hope is that if and when some wider system cascade collapse comes to pass, the old beast dies completely.
    Educate, by learning from them.
    So many great links.

    Where is the guts?
    Which waves do I push back first?
    No matter how cynical, there is still the day to day, hug a dog, pat a person, lick your finger and put it up to the wind.
    The Fukushima winds of change.
    We are all fuel now, spent fuel.
    Trans-National Poison Inc.

    Bastards!!!!

    Yeah, Thorium Reactors can work.

    You guys are talking about Consciousness, as if it is a shit sandwich or something. Now, is that just North America speaking, or is it universal. Of curse you can venture descriptions of what Consciousness is. Consciousness is outshining love Bliss, that knows no other. Consciousness can also be experienced as anything less than that if one has contracted the great river of love that flows through the heart. No one is to blame, no one caused it to be so, so there is no point blaming completely TPTB, they are just doing the small self jig, the Ego sidestep. So it is best to do the little daily things that challenge our own small self, or perform our own counter-egic actions. Greater Consciousness will flow.
    Fukushima – does it matter what we say anymore.
    Cancer is the new youth!!
    We will be living in a scene from a mixture of Eraserhead and Bad Boy Bubby.

    Eraserhead (1977) Dir. David Lynch

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vwg4LNSyyg

    Bad Boy Buddy (Movie Clip)

    Extreme FUBAR

  • I misposted this on the last thread:

    Tom Says:
    August 16th, 2013 at 4:44 am
    Good morning everyone.

    Carolyn Baker interviews Gary Stamper on Mike Rupert’s The Lifeboat Hour (over on Seemorerocks):

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/men-and-patriarchy.html

    This interview touches on a lot of the things Artleads (and others) has brought up. It has it’s clarifying moments. Worth the listen.

  • “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” Mark Twain

    And here we are, writing letters of approval to the funeral we can’t help but to attend. Actions speaking louder than words, and my actions are to observe and speak. In other words, I’m not doing anything. The recycling is a feel-good move along with the walking, biking and public transit, but I live where walking, biking and public transit are very easy choices. I hit the occasional protest march, hold signs and get photographed by the police, but it’s not exactly sticking my neck out. I’d rather not be arrested. I see no point in martyrdom for a lost cause, even if that cause is life itself. It has been a life of ease and see no reason not to have a death of ease. The suicide race winds along, and I am participant spectator. As such, I won’t be written into the history books, I don’t make headlines, I don’t factor into the vast data dump of the web. Yeah, that’s okay. And now dishes need to be done. Almost out of peanut butter and I want to pick up more cheese. These are the great thoughts of my day, and things I can actually do. Focusing on the things I can accomplish makes up for dreaming about things I can do nothing to stop.

  • @logspirit — you’ve said so well many things I believe need to be said. And here, it’s almost like a medical practice, dealing with those in a hospice approaching death. There’s an appropriate way to do it, but we’re still discovering that. You don’t BLAME someone for being sick, and you adapt to their resulting words/behavior. But you don’t adopt it for yourself.

    The state of our “medicine” at this point? Well, it’s almost like the triage in the rail yard in “Gone With the Wind” — lots of wounded guys lying around, moaning and screaming. And the knowledge we have? How to wield a hacksaw to damaged limbs? They didn’t know any better then — not an inkling of germ theory! — we do, or do suspect we should do better. But we don’t know much better than they did.

    When I hear people take apart those trying to do something, dismiss them for their lacks or imperfections, or — heaven forbid! hypocrisies! “they’re just like TPTB they’re opposing! So that means I get to sit back doing zilch and blame one and all.” Well, I just smell trolldom, paid and intentional, or voluntary and conditioned by the life attitudes you write about in your posts.

    Let’s face it, a significant part of the populace lives in depression personally, and we who’ve tried to lead a conscious “activist” life encounter the fringes of it in our own burnout and personal despair about effectiveness. We try to recover and come back to the struggle, plus try to have a little bit of our own life in between. Once you know that’s just who you are, you can accept the consequences. And the contrasts.

    I don’t even mind a blog being “seeded” with all different types of people, as long as we observe and learn more about what we face ahead of us from them.

    Once more, I haven’t encountered another group handling this issue as well or as deeply as those here. Displaying the qualities that inspire me the most about human beings, and make me wish we could spread/ could have spread them widely in time to have a different outcome.

  • Reality check… I salute them.

    Writing names on arms in case of death, in Cairo, the morbidity of protest, via @Mamoudinijad. pic.twitter.com/aJfKv58met

  • pic.twitter.com/tovhw3E0ZO

  • this too, misposted to the last thread (whew, I gotta wake up)

    Tom Says:
    August 16th, 2013 at 5:02 am
    Also from Stamper (from his own site, collapsing into consciousness sited on the above blogpost)

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/08/the-legacy-of-fukushima.html

    At the Very Least, Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over

    by Gary Stamper

  • @ OzMan: I love David Lynch films! Especially Mulholland Drive, Wild at Heart, and Blue Velvet. We saw Wild at Heart at the theater, and Me and my friend were the only ones laughing when the dog ran out of the bank with the guy’s arm in his mouth! Too much for most people.

    @ Henry: It is a privilege to read your posts.

    From Stephen King: “The soil of a man’s soul is stoney, a man plants what he can and tends it.”

    Although I am agnostic leaning towards atheist, I do recognize there is something inside me that responds positively to a warm touch, a kind word, as well as negatively to an insult or disapproving look – however, I don’t know what “that” is, and I don’t put much stock in it. I’m not a deep thinker. If I place my hand on a hot stove, I recoil, and from then on, I test it first… simple, no divine intervention required.

    I could be swayed by the old fashioned tent revival to follow Jesus and probably feel pretty good about it – but, eventually, the “feel-good” would wear off and I’d be right back here again.

    I have been a disappointment to most people that have known me – and I have been disappointed by most people I have known. But, most importantly, I have been a disappointment to myself. Some might say that there is no greater story than that of the repentant sinner – the fallen soul that somehow is inspired to rise up. But I always think about the good guy that just gets up everyday and does his job, takes care of his family, and passes away without fanfare – no great story there, just the typical humdrum human experience. No great joy, no great sorrow, just the steady pulse of a life lived within a narrow spectrum.

    Industrial civilization is complicated. Heck, the ancient civilizations were complicated and even prehistoric societies probably had some level of complication… Put two people in a cave and eventually you will have “rules to follow” like: don’t crap in the cave!

    So, that’s my two cents.

    I still pretty much think that the end result of all this is just a widely scattered bunch of subatomic particles floating about aimlessly in the cold, dark, empty Universe.

  • @ Tom,

    Thanks a bunch for the Carolyn Baker link. Very wise.

    @logspirit,

    Great posts. The Carolyn Baker interview reminded me of your remarkable ability to incorporate the feminine. This may be one of the most revolutionary achievements any man can make.

  • There is an accepted definition of consciousness. It is simply “awareness.” Awareness of the world, of self, of stimuli.

    There are three recognized states of consciousness – (1) waking consciousness, even if it is psychotic and full of hallucinations, (2) non-dreaming sleep, and (3) dreaming sleep states.

    “How can an object, a brain, become a subject, a self with self-consciousness? This question has been called by some the philosophers the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness.” Hobson, 1999, Consciousness.

    There is, in fact, a great deal of established theory regarding consciousness, including that it is comprises 13 basic components including sensation, emotion, instinct, memory, thought, language, intention, etc.

    Nonetheless, it is documented that we “perceive” more than we can acknowledge in our awareness, as proved by studies on subliminal perception.

    It is considered that there are two types of memory – explicit and episodic. Do you know what that means?

    What is not understood is the “how” of consciousness or the “why.” The questions for consciousness are subjectivity – how and for that matter, why does an object, a thing, even a living thing, become a “self.” And the other question is regarding the Darwin/Creation debate, which at its base is simply whether matter creates consciousness, or the opposite, that consciousness creates matter.

    Ultimately, there is far more that is not understood about consciousness than is understood. Also, there is very real evidence, statistical more than the replicate-in-a-laboratory kind of evidence, that consciousness does – at least on occasion – exist apart from matter.

  • @ oldgrowthforest

    There is an accepted definition of consciousness. It is simply “awareness.” Awareness of the world, of self, of stimuli.
    There are three recognized states of consciousness – (1) waking consciousness, even if it is psychotic and full of hallucinations, (2) non-dreaming sleep, and (3) dreaming sleep states.

    This is the simplistic Western dictionary definition. If you put together a symposium of a few thousand neuroscientists, philosophers, PSI researchers, and the like, as has been done several times over recent decades, not a single one will accept it, they will all argue and find exceptions.

    It breaks down immediately. We can build simple electronic devices which respond to stimuli. My microwave cooker can do that. Is it ‘aware’ ?

    The Common Earwig, Forficula auricularia, cares for it’s eggs and its babies, so presumably, it is aware that they are its eggs and it’s babies, so is it conscious ?

    The Eastern traditions have far more sophisticated divisions of consciousness than those three, because, for a start, they include the levels of consciousness encountered during meditation, which are not included in the Western analysis.

    Robin Datta should not use the word ‘Consciousness’ when he gives his analysis, because we are here speaking English, and the English word Consciousness does not in any way equate with Ain Sof or Sunyata, for which there is no equivalent accurate English term.

    Yes, there is the ‘how’ problem. The brain is chemicals, chemistry. How do we get from chemistry, which is somehow alive and electrically active, to this weird thing called ‘consciousness’ ?

    The answer is that nobody knows. That’s the truth of the matter. There are hundreds of theories and speculations and books and opinions and at a recent conference on brain neuroscience there were I think 30,OOO attendees who were involved in research.

    Potentially, science might have a chance to clarify that question. I’m not sure, but it might be possible.

    The ‘why’ question, in the way oldgrowthforest frames it, is easy to answer. It’s because a complex organism needs an executive function. That has become a sense of self, a ‘me’.

    Same reason it typically has a head at the front. If the thing is usually moving forwards it makes sense to have the sense organs at that front end, so they get the info first, so the thing knows there’s a hole before the whole animal has fallen into the hole, which would happen if the sense organs were at the back.

    But that’s not the the really interesting ‘why’ question is it. The interesting one is ‘Why are we able to ponder our existence, beyond mere utility and survival ?’

    Why have we got so much extra consciousness, that we can think to ourselves and feel, ‘Wow, man, that’s just the most beautiful thing I ever saw in my whole fucking life… and break down in tears over it…’

  • @Thanatos Sunbum

    Did not really want to get in the thick of this one, but here goes.

    Although, at this point, I would not recommend DGR, the organization to anyone, I would most definitely recommend the book, as would I recommend the works of Derrick Jenson.

    When I met with DGR people about a year and a half ago I found them a bit to hierarchical and rote thinking for me. This follows their interpretation of revolutionary histories which lead them to believe that a hierarchical system is required for a successful revolution. A conclusion with which I disagree.

    The Trans phobia seems to have mainly to due with what I believe is a minority branch (I could be wrong) of radical feminism that regards transgendered women who are biological men as a threat. Feminism and anti male oppression is an intrinsic part of DGR philosophy and I agree with that. Unfortunately, in DGR, this has lead to what I would interpret as a trans-phobic reaction that has been very destructive to the deep green movement

    My personal activist experience includes quite a few good experiences with trans activists of all types of gender preferences and biological origins. Part of that experience comes from working with a Pagan Anarchist group called the Pagan Cluster, sort of the anarchist core of the Reclaiming Witchcraft tradition. It is a very feminist group which also prides itself in being a safe space for trans activists. It is therefor not possible for me to work closely with DGR.

    Having said all that, both Derrick Jenson a Leir Kieth have made a tremendous contribution to deep green philosophy. We often have to separate peoples philosophical and research skills from their leadership skills. After creating a base for a movement, they have tripped up and led a branch of that movement in what I would consider a very weird direction. Their contributions as authors and philosophers, however, are still well worthwhile.

    Read the book critically, internalize what you agree with, discard what you don’t. Don’t put to much faith in leaders. As always, question authority.

  • “In the meantime, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has granted approval for the “implementation plan” of TEPCO’s efforts to decommission the crippled Fukushima reactors, a process expected to take at least 40 years.”

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/fukushima-nuclear-crisis-update-for-13-august/blog/46277/

  • Honor The Treaties https://vimeo.com/47043218

    These are the bones left, after the best meat has been taken. -Aaron Huey

  • In the previous thread, Daniel says: resistance

    Bargaining with Resistance

    One Stage 3 approach is resistance
    For extinction avoidance assistance;
    In K-R type jargon,
    It’s trying to bargain
    To maintain eternal existence.

  • i’m hesitant to respond to essays like eamon’s because of unworthiness. i don’t walk the talk. i just like associating (distantly) with those who do. guilt by association (that was actually the name of a fine cable tv movie that illustrated a little of the stupidity, cruelty, and personal/family devastation associated with the modern day witchhunt known as ‘the war on (some) drugs’, but i digress) in the view of some.

    sometimes i question my conviction that, personally, resistance is futile. it’s a mighty convenient excuse to be a spectator rather than a participant, to maintain a privileged distance from danger and owning responsibility for being human. maybe i’m just too domesticated, resigned to/ content with life in a gilded cage, pretty much the only life i’ve ever known. oh, such privileged angst!

    resistance may be fertile in spirit and self respect, but it seems quixotic/heroic at best, otherwise. maybe that’s worth something in a time/place where value/meaning are hard to come by.

    living in accord with one’s consciousness/conscience is difficult under any circumstances. doing so in the face of despair is heroic imo. that’s the main reason why i love this dgr friendly blog. i dig heroes. even/especially quixotic ones. it gives me a little hope that a few ‘doomers’ haven’t given up. u have my respect/envy.

    bad news never ends, does it? ecuador’s president just said that because the international ‘community’ couldn’t come up with a relatively paltry 3.6 billion dollars to conserve a patch of pristine tropical forest that forms part of the amazon’s headwaters, (half of the projected current value of oil deposits therein; 3.6 billion bucks? isn’t that about one day’s worth of current amerikkkan military expenditure?), he is going to let big oil on in to do it’s thing. more paradise lost. more species extinct. more fleeting wealth. more future consequences.

  • @ogardener Thanks. I lived in upstate N.Y. for a long time, a long time ago… the old growth white pine forest patches felt like living cathedrals. Never saw bears, but had a moose in my backyard one morning… trying to figure out what my swimming pool was, I guess. I’m homeless now, but I was paid very well to sit on my butt in a government office. Everything changes. Well, OK, I still sit on my butt.

    @Henry Thanks. We, and the world we inhabit are very sick now. Terminal. Everything is related. Health is the key, if only we could find it. Most people have the power to choose how they eat, it is a great power.

    @Artleads Thanks. Sensitivity just feels natural. Perhaps it is revolutionary, compared to the current state of awareness and compassion… but that only highlights the atrocity. Before I acknowledged the sufferings of the world, I suffered a lot of alienation from the world. I guess that pain opened my eyes. We may never be able to alleviate all suffering, but turning away from it, intensifies it, for everyone. It takes strength to love. Weaklings can’t do it. A cave that has been dark for all eternity is suddenly illuminated by a spark. This is the time to open our eyes and let in the light.

    ~~~

  • ‘you should heed the scientific consensus conclusion that the safe level of radiation is zero becquerels of anything’ -from article on fukushima linked by tom warning not to eat any pacific ocean fish

    that quote is like saying the only safe level of anything is zero. anything’s potentially lethal. especially life.

    radiation’s natural. there’s no escaping it. i’d like to know the ‘scientists’ who make such a consensus.

    there were some good comments posted after the article, pointing out the hysterical affect of it. one such comment included a link to yet another article that imo paints a more surrealistic (rather than hysterical) picture of the extent of the fuku disaster:

    https://rt.com/op-edge/tepco-fukushima-sea-water-reactor-194/

    that includes these paragraphs:

    ‘ Let us look at some numbers. Four hundred tons of seawater a day are flowing into the sea. That is 400 cubic meters. In one year, that is 146,000 cubic meters. That is a pond 10 meters deep and 120 meters square. This will have to go on forever, a new pond every year, unless they can get the radioactive material out. But here is the other problem. They can’t get close enough because the radiation levels are too high. The water itself is lethally radioactive. Gamma radiation levels tens of meters from the water are enormously high. No one can approach without being fried.
    ‘Anyone living within 1km of the coast near Fukushima should get out’

    But I want to make two other points. The first is that the Pacific Ocean is big enough for this level of release not to represent the global catastrophe that some are predicting. Let’s get some scoping perspective on this. The volume of the North Pacific is 300 million cubic kilometers. The total inventory of the four Fukushima Daiichi reactors, including their spent fuel pools, is 732 tons of Uranium and Plutonium fuel which is largely insoluble in sea water. The inventory in terms of the medium half-life nuclides of radiological significance Cs-137, Cs-134 and Strontium-90, is 3 x 1018 becquerels (Bq) each. Adding these up gives about 1019 Bq. If we dissolve that entire amount into the Pacific, we get a mean concentration of 33 Bq per cubic meter – not great, but not lethal. Of course this is ridiculous since the catastrophe released less than 1017 Bq of these combined nuclides and even if all of this ends up in the sea (which it may do), the overall dilution will result in a concentration of 1 Bq per cubic meter. So the people in California can relax. In fact, the contamination of California and indeed the rest of the planet from the global weapons test fallout of 1959-1962 was far worse, and resulted in the cancer epidemic which began in 1980. The atmospheric megaton explosions drove the radioactivity into the stratosphere and the rain brought it back to earth to get into the milk, the food, the air, and our children’s bones. Kennedy and Kruschev called a halt in 1963, saving millions.
    __________________________________________________________

    fuku is very bad news for japan. for the rest of the world, there are much greater threats to be concerned with. imo.

  • The Leonard Lopate Show – Moving Oil:

    The Enbridge Pipeline

    Thomas Stackpole, editorial fellow at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones, talks about the Enbridge pipeline and how it’s gone largely unnoticed and uncovered while the Keystone XL pipeline has gotten all the attention criticism. He’s written about it in Mother Jones: “Keystone Light: The Pipeline You’ve Never Heard of Is Probably Going to Be Built.”

  • I just listened to the Staple Singers-“I Take You There”.

    Gaia has a new song: NTHE,Keep messing with me & I’ll take you there.

  • @the virgin terry

    Dilution is not the solution to pollution.

  • We here in Michigan know all about Enbridge (161 leaks in one year alone). That pipeline is under protest as well, Robin.

    Resistance is futile, in the sense that it will not stop NTE. Resistance is NOT futile if you want to live with any self respect. There is a lot of whining going on here and I get it, I’ve been there, I’m still there on many days, believe me.

    If you are content to live your last days staring out the window and doing nothing, then really, what is the point? I hope to go out filled with love, yes, but first knowing that at least I wasn’t a total succubus.

    If Japan crashes, if the economy there crashes (Fukushima is one big money pit, after all) that is going to affect the globe just as much as all the radiation, don’t you think? Anyone?

    And no one is talking about what is being released into the atmosphere. It’s all about water so far. We don’t have the facts.

    As a middle class, middle aged woman, I followed the DGR/Transphobia story and I gotta say, I think some of the trans people are FBI stooges trying to stir shit up. As a woman, it is understood that no means no and that women have to protect themselves. So if I was at a conference among relative strangers and asked to use a woman only room and was told no, I would understand that the women are doing what they need to do to feel safe. And would have said thank you and walked away. A trans person (male) did not do that. He did not accept that no means no. Which is, you gotta admit, pretty par for the course. I am not a member of DGR but I do love Derrick Jensen’s work and I do post on his forum, and I have met him, and I stand with DGR on this one.

    Good morning everyone. I seem to have awakened with something to say!

  • To Robin Datta: Any good ‘Doomer’ worthy the tile has both NBL and Arctic News on their bookmark toolbar for easy daily referencing. Paul Beckwith has written an article which appears at Arctic News addressing the observation that Keystone is getting all the press (taking the heat, so to speak) while other pipeline projects continue relatively unnoticed. You may find the article to be an interesting read.

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2013/08/stop-all-new-fossil-fuel-megaprojects.html

  • 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, 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 we are blessed to inhabit as a fit place for habitation by children everywhere and coming generations.

  • Is anybody keeping up with Ecuador’s plans to explore for oil in the Yasuni region of the Amazon rainforest? They are willing to risk destroying vital rainforest to extract an estimated 856 million (not billion) barrels of oil. That’s about what, 5 weeks of energy for the US alone?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/16/ecuador-approves-yasuni-amazon-oil-drilling

  • The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale.
    rest at
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/14/us-japan-fukushima-insight-idUKBRE97D00M20130814

  • the virgin terry says: unworthiness, i don’t walk the talk, i question my conviction, privileged distance from danger, too domesticated, resigned to/content with, privileged angst, u have my respect/envy.

    tvt, whether intentional, or just a symptom of our spiritually sick society, this is what we are supposed to think. The indigenous call it ‘colonization’, and it is an infection of the mind. Bob Marley called it ‘mental slavery’. I am not picking on you, it’s just a perfect illustration of how successful divide and conquer has been. We have been divided, separated, from our own power.

    There are many fronts in the fight. Activist and Radical are important roles to be sure, and the most visible, but there are many other roles. Just as important as the Warriors are the Healers and Caretakers, those who support and watch over the less able-bodied. There are Truth Seekers and Intelligentsia, those who expose the lies. There are Artists of all types who seek to counter the propaganda machine.

    Just turn away, look in all directions, and pick a battle. They are everywhere. Look for Allies. Stand in Solidarity with someone. Start small. Start with what makes you feel. Read these words from Chase Iron Eyes of Last Real Indians:

    …regardless of your past mistakes & transgressions we need you to forgive yourself and not exclude yourself from sharing your light with others; we can’t have you saying “because I did this in the past people will say things about me if I start living healthy & strong, if I start walking the red road, if I start showing I care” whatever it is. We need you to recognize, heal, move on; don’t rob us of your gifts.

    It can be an act of courage simply to recognize our strengths and use them in a responsible way, because we live in a world that broadcasts and spotlights our weaknesses, morning noon and night, it is always staring us in the face. I choose to look away. The big concepts of free-will and determinism don’t preclude one from the daily choices of which beast we are going to feed. Find your power and feed it!

    “Timshel” https://youtu.be/f8D7MLsNAb8

  • Message to Henry:

    News flash………Zhukov and the Soviet hordes thrust upon Germany were not the heroes you seem to idolize. The Soviets murdered 2,000,000 German civilians not to mention 2,500,000 former Soviet soldiers who had defected over to the German side AFTER Germany’s surrender. Sorry but there is no such thing as “the good guys and the bad guys.”

  • @Kling:

    are you trying to appeal as a German nationalist to the current libertari-tard Russophobic “zeitgeist” in the blogs and presstitute media of the USA, now that pin-up boy Assange has said he likes Rand Paul?

    1. give references for your nicely-rounded figures or did you pluck them from your nether regions? Der Führer dankt, alles klar?`

    2. “Soviet hordes thrust upon Germany”: I note the Nazi terminology “hordes” as in “Asiatic/Mongol hordes”. “thrust” here is a past participle implying that somebody or something did the thrusting. So who or what, Kling? Don’t be shy. It wasn’t Ahasver or Jüd Süss by any chance?

    3. “the German aide”: once a country surrenders it is no “side” any more. Concerning Stalin’s treatment of Red Army soldiers who had been in Western POW camps: you coulön’t make the Nazi-free omelette on 8.5.1945 without breaking various eggs, sadly.

    4. On the contrary Kling, there are indeed good and bad guys, Good guys wrote the laws in Germany to put Neonazis and their henchmen post-1945 behind bars, for example. Other good guys, such as 27 million Soviet citizens 1939-45, died to defeat bad guys.

  • logspirit – “It takes strength to love. Weaklings can’t do it. A cave that has been dark for all eternity is suddenly illuminated by a spark. This is the time to open our eyes and let in the light.”

    ya think? 🙂 sorry, that was sarcasm only because you so effortlessly have a way with words, I couldn’t come up with anything remotely better to add to this. sometimes, oh yes, love carries a sword. I will be so temerarious as to say the true meaning of “God fearing” lies at the tip of that sword. think about it: there is always only love, but why does this scare us so much on the deeper levels?

    BadlandsAK – “It can be an act of courage simply to recognize our strengths and use them in a responsible way, because we live in a world that broadcasts and spotlights our weaknesses, morning noon and night, it is always staring us in the face. I choose to look away. The big concepts of free-will and determinism don’t preclude one from the daily choices of which beast we are going to feed. Find your power and feed it!” oh yes!! very powerful. so inspiring!

    I wanted to add the following (after being away for a while, and finally catching up here a bit) to the “selfish surrender” thread, but that thread is now closed for comments, so I will add it here. please forgive the length and OT, but this comment addresses the questions from both that thread, and earlier questions about “agendas” and so on, so without further ado…

    in order that there be no hidden or subconscious agendas assumed from anything I have said on NBL or anything I may say here in the future, let me state my two *very* conscious agendas.

    if is appropriate to the situation, I generally wish to persuade anyone who cares to listen, either here or elsewhere, about *two things* that are very near and dear to my heart:

    (1) the unquestionable value of science – the incredibly culture-shaking importance of the history and philosophy and practice of science, and everything that has arisen from this. from my pov, anyone who seriously questions the ultimate value of science (in its truest and most honest sense) is worthy of scorn.

    in my darker moments, all those who just blithely reap the great rewards that science has given us without a thought to the pain, suffering and insane amount of effort that went into these things is also worthy of scorn.

    (2) the unquestionable value of the “inward quest” – meaning the quest that has been an innate part of our human nature from time immemorial, and that certain humans have taken to great heights in order to bring greater light, beauty, truth and “higher purpose” to the overall path of our species.

    it can be argued that those humans, all humans, who have seriously taken these “inner paths” in order to relieve their own and other human suffering and confusion have done so at as much cost, pain and insane effort as any of those deeply committed to the scientific paths. this applies especially to all pioneers on both paths, of course.

    again, in my darker moments, I feel those who don’t want to even give a thought to what all this “inward stuff” is all about are either worthy of scorn, or simply great pity.

    so, no subconscious or unstated agenda’s here, none at all. nor I am interested in converting anyone to anything. how can I convert God to be more God? that is absurd on the face of it.

    persuade? why of course YES! what the hell is life for if it is not for having passions and sharing what one is passionate about, and I am more passionate about these two things than anything else.

    more down to earth: what is truly worthy of scorn (and love and healing) are all the worst aspects of our natures, and our meanest habits: closed-mindedness, bigotry, spite, fear, assumed privilege and all the rest.

    for me personally, my attempt at escape from my worst nature lies in appreciation and practice of both paths (1) and (2) outlined above, as much as I am able.

    sharing these things with (more or less) like souls here on NBL, and learning and hearing these other deep and heartfelt perspectives, is one of my current great life pleasures – I am deeply in love with everyone and their ideas here, and I’m not embarrassed about that at all. reading the minds (so to speak) that are all spoken here, gives me the most delicious pleasure. it kindles my inner fire, and something very real connects.

    this is quite a wonderful group, and I am very happy to have the chance to participate – with ultimate thanks to Guy.

    what we are facing and sharing, together and in our own ways, is something astoundingly deep and important. we have the guts to face these things, each in our own ways, and none here I would call cowards or worthy of scorn in any manner whatsoever. on the contrary, we are warriors, even if we are only daring to look out the train window and say “Hey, what do you know! We are all about to go on a very short flight.” 🙂

    from “selfish surrender” Landbeyond stated:

    “Almost all species that have existed are extinct – they do not care. Those existing today will follow them – they will not care.”

    “@Daniel
    “Is it worth the painful early death of a single hammerhead, let alone the entire ocean, in order that there be humans in existence?”
    No, it is not.
    Are you going to answer my question?”

    “The part most people have trouble with: If most or all of life becomes extinct (including us, obviously) it doesn’t matter. It seems we instinctively want our species to survive, and want the “living planet” to continue even if we cannot. I have yet to see a rational basis for either desire. Extinction, which many here expect, will end human suffering and death. The same is true for other sentient species. For other species, once we are not around, there appears to be no advantage or otherwise in existing or not.”

    Landbeyond, I think you are putting some solid effort into articulating your question, and for me at least, you have convinced me that you both understand *why* you are asking the question, what your question is (even if you are tangling yourself in knots with the larger parts of the question), and also that Guy’s answer is indeed coming up short. I generally agree with you on these points.

    IC isn’t just about living in cities or not – we passed that point a while ago. there is much hideous complexity involved in the question of “ending IC” now. I am sure Guy is aware of this, and has probably articulated and addressed it elsewhere (I don’t honestly know and I don’t want to assume or put words into Guy’s mouth!), but I think he did you short shrift in answering your honest question, in that thread at least.

    maybe a more complete answer on Guy’s part would be: “I would like to see IC terminated as quickly as possible, and I understand there could be unforeseen short-term consequences and lots of human suffering, but for the long-term benefit of a living planet, I believe the quicker solutions are going to be the better ones.” again, I really don’t want to assume anything at all here, but maybe this is closer to Guy’s full position. maybe I am leaving out too much important detail. I honestly don’t know, and if anyone wants to correct me, please do.

    as far as seeing “a rational basis for either desire.” – I believe I have truly given you the closest thing you are going to get to anything that can honestly claim to be “rational” in the strictly logical sense. rational means logical, and aside from more complex philosophical/rational arguments, I am fairly sure my argument is airtight and the shortest you could possibly get while still being complete.

    the one interesting possibility is that my argument can of course be logically inverted. It could be given that the direction goes the other way: the “best” is actually nothing! Or as close to nothing as something could possibly be, and any further complexity, and especially any possibility of life with consequent suffering and death, is only going further down the path of “worse, much worse, evil, beyond evil.”

    Interestingly, I actually think this inverted way of seeing things is a very natural outcome of the strictly scientific worldview. Meaning science taken to the point of scientism, and the closed loop.

    you see, the thing that bugs me most about your question, and follow ups, is the way you approach the ideas of what “matters” or how (or not) other life may “care” or not about whether it, or us, exists. i do not live in a closed loop of a value judgement in my head, certainly in the strict biological sense, where I am depending on countless things around me in the greater flow. I am also certain, personally, in the other sense that I don’t live in a closed loop either in the “inner” world.

    because I know that I am not a closed loop, on multiple levels, I could never presume to make the final call on what matters, and how life, and other species, do or do not care about their existence. In fact, my “out-of-loop” experience, on every level, tells me that these things matter a great deal. infinitely much, in fact.

    my feelings tell me it matters whether or not i kick a dog or hug a dog. extending that simple feeling-knowledge out in various ways tells me quite a bit more. again, for me personally, this extended place out of the closed loop takes me quite clearly to the point that thinking the “correct” inductive path has to be first one, not the inverted one. but this is ultimately based only on a feeling, no more.

    ulvfugl – thanks for backing me up, and your fine complements. that means a lot to me coming from you.

    Privileged: I want to apologize for giving you short shrift earlier. I do see where you are coming from, and your point about the corporal punishment example is profound. there is so much more here I would like to say, but I don’t want to say more as we will probably end up going in circles again! 🙂 you do have am extremely vital point that there is complexity and reality here with “white male privilege” that most really do not want to look at in depth. let’s have the discussion, let us listen, deeply, and try to understand. thank you for being a beautiful and committed voice of love.

    to others who answered me in one way or another, I am with you, deeply, even though I don’t have the time to fully answer. thanks all for taking the time to listen.

  • Fukushima News

    Particularly, the interview in the second half of the article.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-17/radioactive-water-leaking-fukushima-what-we-know

    -X-

    Not many years out into the future, as KK sat there contemplating the cyanide pill in his hands, while the cannibal hoard was breaking down his door. He wondered if it would have been better, had Fukushima blown up. Because, had Fukushima blown up, we would all have been dead by now.

    No?

    -x-

    This makes an oil pipeline look so innocuous. Yes, I observe the hyperbolic discounting in my thought process, after all, in both cases the end result is death.

    What is common in both instances is the lying that people do to cover their fuck ups. Which also makes mi wonder, what if the situation is much worse now and the people in charge are still lying? When they say 300 tons of contaminated water is going into the ocean, how would we ever really know?

    Somewhere I read, that Fukushima Daiichi means Blessed Island One, could it be? 😛

  • @ulvfugl @Kirk and others

    One day as I sat contemplating the world, I suddenly saw everything as light/energy and it was beautiful, it was all light, one contiguous flow of energy, across time and space, actually there was no time and space, so you cant call it a flow but it looked like one, so beautiful, there are no words.

    For an instance there it all made sense and everything was perfect. From the big bang, to the first stars, to the formation of heavier elements, more stars, planets, microorganisms, us and onward into oblivion. A pulsating light show.

    Everything that we as humans worry about on a daily basis suddenly seemed so trivial and yet everything was important almost sacred.

    I realized that I had touched upon something special and I wanted to share my vision, if you may. I opened my eyes, had one look around mi and I cried and I wished I was blind. It was the saddest day of my life.

    Since then, I have been trying to put everything into the perspective of that big picture I chanced upon. If you look at things from that perspective it does not matter, our (the universe / stars / humans / everything that ever was / is / will be) existence IS (period). Not good, not bad, just IS.

    We are special? wrt what part of this grand cosmic dance of energy? How can we separate ourselves from everything and judge ourselves in individuality? If we cannot judge ourselves, how can we judge others? How can we judge?

    But, it is difficult, it is so difficult to not judge, to not get angry. At oneself and at others, for our infantile individual perceptual universes are bound by our petty expectations and egos. Just look at my post upthread dated August 15th, for a prime example of just this phenomenon 🙂

    I falter all the time and I keep trying to remember that moment in light.

    @ulvfugl I understand, what you are alluding to, when you say we are amazing, we posses the capacity to comprehend it all, to empathize. IMO it is exactly this ability that weaves a common thread through the individuals here on this blog, even the ones who seem not to care. I am sure they do, for otherwise they would not be expressing their grief in the manner that they do. We understand that we as a species could have been so much better and that we have frittered away that opportunity.

    For the record, no, I was not drugged in any way, well maybe an overdose of coffee and some sleep deprivation and nicotine.

    Hmm… Yeah… maybe I was drugged 😉

    @Lorraine @Guy Et al.

    Thanks to Guy and all the posters at this forum and the existence of the Internet, we all get a place where we meet like minded people. I have much gratitude for the small mercies that the Universe (randomly) throws my way.

    To the fiddle 😀

  • I am thinking about this too much. I have to take the time to address it! this (sorry again) relates to the ‘selfish surrender’ thread and the question of suffering.

    Kathy C – “Mo flow, all that logic. But it doesn’t address the fact that life never asks the unborn if they want to be born, whether bacteria, or bunny or human.”

    “We have offspring because our programs dictate it, not because life is good enough to make up for suffering and inevitable death.”

    also to ulvfugl’s similar points right after this about struggling with the dilemma of suffering, and the role of social conditioning as to what, exactly is Good/Bad.

    let’s try it this way: Kathy C – you are here. you are, by definition, life. leaving aside the question of consciousness for a moment, that is pretty much all there is to be said. you, and the bunny, and the bacteria, all are life, and all are here, now.

    to your illustration of the asteroid and the mother wanting a child. *my* feeling is this is pure insanity! but *I* am not the decider. is the mother even the decider? Paul C’s hypothesis, and a great deal of other cutting edge scientific thinking these days, says the mother is not the decider either. she has no free will, or she is acting on overriding genetic impulse and brain chemistry, and for one reason or another, she isn’t making any real decisions.

    so… what are we left with? who is deciding? what is the only thing left to point to? life itself. the life force, whatever the hell that is!

    what is the question? “is life worth it?” you are here, and that is the answer. life already decided you are worth it. same with the chicken that got eaten alive. until the very moment the hawk sunk its talons and beak into that delectable chicken meat, that chicken would have said, “oh yeah! you bet I’m glad to be here! sure beats being hawk meat!”

    when the questions of consciousness and free will are added to the mix, then we *must* look deeper at what these things really are! we *must* – there is no way around it. the questions of conditioning are a beginning. but we must go all the way. how can we do that? I think you know what my answer is here. 🙂

    the Buddha was driven out of his body and mind by the question of suffering. finally he vowed: I am sitting under this tree. I will either die here, or I will answer this question.

    that’s how important this question is, and how vital it is to be open to taking the only (so far) known pathways to addressing the question, if you are serious about getting a real answer.

  • @U: No, it’s not a dictionary definition. It came from J. Allan’s Hobson’s book “Consciousness.” Hobson is or was a professor of psychiatry and director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at Harvard Medical School.

    I didn’t write out a quote because it is so simple. Nothing beyond that is simple, but the actual definition is simple.

  • I think Hobson qualifies in the group you mention as saying that I’m wrong in presenting his definition. He is a psychiatrist. And, he’s a white guy with all the right alphabets behind his name.

    Personally, I’m completely convinced that consciousness is not bound by matter. Which is why I rarely post here but I do read for the good science on the environment. I just thought I’d help y’all out a bit, as I did a 40-page research project on consciousness for my degree.

  • Let’s put things in perspective………the worst case scenario at Chernobyl would have been a secondary explosion resulting in a 3 to 5 megaton blast. Sure it would have been bad, but certainly not catastrophic. The Russians detonated an atmospheric hydrogen bomb in 1961 that resulted in a yield of 50 megatons. The Tsar bomb was initially designed to generate 100 megatons of TNT, but concern over fallout prompted the designers to reduce the yield to 50.

  • In the previous thread, Daniel says: …virtually every question concerning NTE, fundamentally boils down to whether we fully accept it, or not.

    It won’t matter, whatever you do,
    But accepting that doom’s really true—
    And there’s nowhere to flee
    From the NTE—
    Will change your whole point of view.

  • Actually, it’s only one of the reasons I rarely post here. There are other reasons, and I’m sure the lack of interest goes both ways. But the updates on the environment are good.

    Badlands, I’m sorry to hear of your struggles. I miss talking to you at NTE.

  • @ mo flow,

    I enjoyed your posts, knowing it represented unusual effort to get to the heart of the matter. It could be an article in and of itself. It felt brave, unafraid on one hand, and tactful, generous and understanding on the other. I heartily agree about the high level of commitment and depth on the part of posters on NBL.

  • @ logspirit

    “A cave that has been dark for all eternity is suddenly illuminated by a spark. This is the time to open our eyes and let in the light.”

    Thanks for that.

  • To Georg Elser:

    You are correct. I underestimated the number of German civilians killed after the end of the war. The real number is 3,000,000 (sources cited below….where are your sources or are you simply pontificating, Georg?).

    Here is another one that will really burn your butt: 150,000 Jews fought on behalf Hitler’s army including 2 Field Marshals, 15 Generals, 2 Full Generals, 8 Lieutenant Generals, and 5 Major Generals. There’s more Georg. 20 Jews were personally awarded by the Fuhrer Germany’s highest military honor, The Knight’s Cross to the Iron Cross First and Second Class. I know, Georg, such inconvenient truths are so upsetting to one’s black and white version of world events.

    “The best estimate is that some three million Germans, military and civilians, died unnecessarily after the official end of hostilities. A million of these were men who were being held as prisoners of war, most of whom died in Soviet captivity. (Of the 90,000 Germans who surrendered at Stalingrad, for example, only 5,000 ever returned to their homeland.) Less well known is the story of the many thousands of German prisoners who died in American and British captivity, most infamously in horrid holding camps along the Rhine river, with no shelter and very little food. Others, more fortunate, toiled as slave labor in Allied countries, often for years.
    Most of the two million German civilians who perished after the end of the war were women, children and elderly — victims of disease, cold, hunger, suicide, and mass murder.
    Apart from the wide-scale rape of millions of German girls and woman in the Soviet occupation zones, perhaps the most shocking outrage recorded by MacDonogh is the slaughter of a quarter of a million Sudeten Germans by their vengeful Czech compatriots.New Book Details Mass Killings and Brutal Mistreatment of Germans at the End of World War Two” by British historian Giles MacDonogh.

    “2,000,000 Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Cossacks, the Georgians, Armenians, and Turkomans, and the members of all the other non-Russian nations fought on the side of Germany against the Soviet Union. No matter under which government they were born and in which part of the world, they all fought against a government which was not their government and against a country which was not their country, but which had enslaved them. By contrast, the Russians of General Vlasov fought only against their government but not against their own nation; what is more, they fought for the liberation of their nation from the system which enslaved it. One could say of them that they were traitors to their government but not traitors to their nation, and in Soviet Russia the government and the nation are not the same, as in the West.” according to the book, “Soviet Opposition to Stalin.”

    So there are your facts, and the fact that you relish in the slaughter of 5 million people after the end of hostilities shows that you are one cruel SOB.

  • @ oldgrowthforest

    Thanks, Personally, I’m completely convinced that consciousness is not bound by matter.

    Obviously, could say a lot about that, but don’t want to here.

    @ KK, I know what you mean

    @ mo flow

    Nothingness, non-existence, the absence of anything…

    Then, something.

    This ultimate mystery has been explored in the hearts and imaginations of humans many, many times in hundreds and hundreds of creation myths all around the world. Some of them are very moving and beautiful poetry.

    The way you put it, zero, then, one.

    Leibniz, one of the founders of science, tried to work it like that.

    I imagine this rocky planet, very unpleasant and hostile, like some others out there circling through Space. They are all sort of ‘zeroes’, as far as life is concerned.

    On this one, after thousands of millions of years, countless forms, coming and going, have produced us. Landbeyond. He/she contains them all. As do you and I.

    This pathetic confined little ego has no right to pass any judgement on something so ancient, mysterious, vast and awesome, does it.

    Deepest, deepest humility. Ask the soil and the sky and the leatherback turtle and the tuatara and the horseshoe crab. They have been here so much longer.

    Landbeyond does not understand any of that.

    Interrogate the nothingness, the non-existence, the absence of anything.

    Landbeyond does not understand that.

  • Sorry for the late post. Buffeted by some dreadful challenges.

    @ mo flow

    @ Artleads

    Glad that both of you got something from that. Of course, I appreciate all the articles and posts here. Thanks to everyone.

    As far as why people are afraid of love… people are afraid of anything they are unfamiliar with. Radiate it anyway. The results can be astonishing.

  • All hand are needed on the deck at this critical moment in the history of our planetary home.

    All hands are needed on the deck of the Titanic at this critical moment in the history of our planetary home.

    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.

    All of the world’s human resources, including overrated intelligence and technology, need to be deployed in order to undergo (and mitigate the suffering of the extinction-level events of) the emerging and converging wicked problems which are no longer just looming ominously on the horizon.

    This is the time to open our eyes and let in the light.

    This is the time to open our eyes and let out our light.

    The only light is the light (apparently “within”) which illuminates all awareness.

    I will be so temerarious as to say the true meaning of “God fearing” lies at the tip of that sword.

    I will be so temerarious as to say the true meaning of “God fearing” lies in the fear of loss of the “I”: a mirage held fast through the tenacity of delusion.

    inward quest” – meaning the quest that has been an innate part of our human nature from time immemorial, and that certain humans have taken to great heights in order to bring greater light

    That light is neither brought nor sent. It just is. Only the not-seeing and the seeing vary. The “quest” ends when the light is directed on itself. Shone anywhere else, it is ordinary “awareness”.

    “higher purpose” to the overall path of our species.

    Purpose and purposelessness are parts of the “I” delusion.

    how can I convert God to be more God?

    By increasing the part of the “not-I” allotted to “God” till “God” fills it completely and overflows into the “I”. Then there is no longer an “I” or a “not-I”. That is the way of devotion (“Bhakti yoga”). But one cannot leave out any part of the “not-I”, not even the part scorned.

    who is deciding?

    The “who” is a surmise of another “I”. Free will is another aspect of the mirage of “I”.

    Personally, I’m completely convinced that consciousness is not bound by matter.

    Awareness, however, is subject to the limitations of space-time-causation when the content of that awareness is anything other than consciousness (?”itself”). That is because awareness is consciousness with content other than (?”itself”).

    I first came across the concept of not being limited by time when reading discussions of Kabbalah. Two instants far apart in time will both be “now”, including all of the eternities past and future.

    The Nazis and the Soviets the pot and the kettle: which one was blacker?

  • @Logspirit

    re: As far as why people are afraid of love… people are afraid of anything they are unfamiliar with. Radiate it anyway. The results can be astonishing.

    I’m only going to speak for myself and hundreds of others I have heard from over the years: the reason I am afraid of love is there is a direct relationship between the strength of the love I have felt for a person and the degree to which that person has SCREWED ME TO THE WALL. The closest, most intimate relationships in which I have been the most vulnerable ALL were the most damaging, dangerous, (emotionally) violent and over-all generally unpleasant and rotten. That is, the people closest to me, in any context, have been the most damaging to me in the end. Without exception: I have never been treated as badly by a stranger as I have by the members of my family or the women I thought cared about me or the “friends” I thought had my back.

    After all my years I am convinced there is no such thing as “love” (definition, please)of any kind. I’m pretty sure it is merely a dance of neuro-peptides (horny hormones and others) and pheremones or, in the case of the tenuous mother/child bond, genetic programming (and the love logspirit is referring to is total delusional abstraction).

    When electrodes placed in specific areas of the brain can produce pretty much anything in the human response repertoire, the notion that we are more than (verminous) chemical stimulus and response (meat) machines is pretty hard for me to accept. Especially when it seems the ratio of so-called “love” in the world is overshadowed by all the nastiness, violence and evil by a ratio of 10 raised to the 1000 power to 1. I’m pretty sure love and any other impression of an abstract label on a bio-chemical process is a delusion of the so-called “consciousness” so many of you think you possess.

    I once went to see some traveling Holy Ned who prattled about “love” and many other so-called “spiritual” delusions and how “love” was the strongest force in the Universe. A heckler asked how his love would work if he found himself lost in a freezing blizzard (I live in a cold climate). Everybody laughed; it was hilarious. So I ask as well: how is that love stuff working for you in the face of death by Fukishima? Good radiation protection is it?

    On a different but related note:
    It has been suggested conscious is non-local or not bounded by matter or something? Perhaps if it was local to seething, destructive hoard of H. sapiens and bounded within their flesh it might have been of some actual utility (if it exists). Rather useless having conscious floating around unbounded or non-locally in the ether when we could actually have used some of it over the last 50,000 years or so.

  • … one more thing: when people come around talking about this abstraction of so-called “love” my anus clenches and my trigger-finger gets itchy. That is, the largest pedophile ring on the planet preaches “love” while they rape children by the hundreds of thousands. Guess who I’m feeding to my pigs after law and order collapses?

    The biggest scoundrels are always the ones who profess and promulgate the highest values; haven’t you noticed?

  • There are two trends that fascinate me in this ongoing discussion at NBL. One is the gradual softening of the exchanges between the regular contributors, which at one time were getting pretty sharp and heated. It is turning out that underneath the anger, frustration, and self-righteousness there is compassion, a capacity to tolerate and listen to other points of view, and a willingness to forgive former clashes and find common ground in the lifeboat we few who have the unusual gift/curse to see how bad it really is find ourselves floating in. Just how far ahead the Falls of Extinction may be we have varied opinions about, as we try to weigh the often contradictory and arcane scientific data. But we do agree that the waters are moving ever faster, and there seems to be an ominous sound coming from up ahead…

    The other trend I notice is that ultimate questions of the meaning, purpose, and destiny of human life are more and more surfacing for serious consideration, rather than being brushed aside as irrelevant. There is even some sharing of what many would designate as spiritual experiences.

    It is as though those of us who have had the daring/misfortune to find ourselves contemplating the ultimate black hole of extinction are being led to ask these ultimate questions as we whirl faster and faster towards an unimaginable end to the bright pageant of our long story on Earth. The existentialist Albert Camus was similarly driven to ask the deep questions of himself (and all of us) by the Holocaust that presaged the collapse of civilization and all its supposed values. Maybe we should read again his Myth of Sisyphus, and seek to find our own and new meanings beyond the unfolding tragic nightmare of our times. Much thanks to all of you for being willing to share your experiences of this unique unfolding….

    There are two trends that fascinate me in this ongoing discussion at NBL. One is the gradual softening of the exchanges between the regular contributors, which at one time were getting pretty sharp and heated. It is turning out that underneath the anger, frustration, and self-righteousness there is compassion, a capacity to tolerate and listen to other points of view, and a willingness to forgive former clashes and find common ground in the lifeboat we few who have the unusual gift/curse to see how bad it really is find ourselves floating in. Just how far ahead the Falls of Extinction may be we have varied opinions about, as we try to weigh the often contradictory and arcane scientific data. But we do agree that the waters are moving ever faster, and there seems to be an ominous sound coming from up ahead…

    The other trend I notice is that ultimate questions of the meaning, purpose, and destiny of human life are more and more surfacing for serious consideration, rather than being brushed aside as irrelevant. There is even some sharing of what many would designate as spiritual experiences.

    It is as though those of us who have had the daring/misfortune to find ourselves contemplating the ultimate black hole of extinction are being led to ask these ultimate questions as we whirl faster and faster towards an unimaginable end to the bright pageant of our long story on Earth. The existentialist Albert Camus was similarly driven to ask the deep questions of himself (and all of us) by the Holocaust that presaged the collapse of civilization and all its supposed values. Maybe we should read again his Myth of Sisyphus, and seek to find our own and new meanings beyond the unfolding tragic nightmare of our times. Much thanks to all of you for being willing to share your experience of this unique unfolding….

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/camus/#ParCamAbs

  • Rob, thank you. logspirit, artleads, mo flow — pure poetry here, your contributions inspire many, I’m sure.

    Friedrich, Georg — I love Germany, I’ve been to southern Germany three times, and was just thinking about hopefully returning sometime before my end of days, bringing young family members who need to see it, too. The German language is music to me, a song I have yet to fully learn.

    (I rode on a train to Moscow with a tour group of German veterans, returning to see the battle sites of their youth. The tour leaders were a couple, a German veteran married to a Russian woman.)

    The German-Russian tragedy behind us is still being digested (hell, the American Civil War is still undigested, and possibly being used by modern provocateurs!), and I bring it up, because it is on the scale of what approaches us via mass starvation and societal collapse.

    Heroes to me are those like the Tobias Bielski partisans, so well portrayed by Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber & co. in “Defiance”.

    Non-cooperation with Evil is my minimum goal in this time, and you have helped to show us how difficult and risky it was in the chaos of that time, which I believe, humanity is still traumatized by.

    The spirit of Hans & Sophie Scholl, Christophe Probst and the others in Munich has been the lifelong challenge to me: Would I have had the courage to do what they did? We must never forget them and the others like them who resisted from within.

  • I have never been treated as badly by a stranger as I have by the members of my family or the women I thought cared about me or the “friends” I thought had my back.

    It would not matter if it happened to a Buddha, or a Christ: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”. A meat robot can be expected to whine about it in accordance with its programs/algorithms: a good meat robot will also pass the Turing Test. Even if all the other actors in this Divine Tragicomedy are unfeeling meat-robots, it behooves the one with awareness to play one’s part the best one can. The script for that part may or may not read as showing exemplary behaviour: yet the good actor completely immerses oneself in the role while ever being aware that it is but a Play.

  • I’m Just a Guy in the Band

    When the ship hit the ice far from land,
    It was not under my command;
    I play, as you see,
    “Nearer, My God, to Thee”:
    I’m just a guy in the band.

    Your life didn’t go as you planned?
    There’s things you still don’t understand?
    I keep up esprit
    When I play; don’t tell me—
    I’m just a guy in the band.

    No lifeboat, or helpful deckhand?
    How should you make your last stand?
    This is NTE,
    So please don’t ask me:
    I’m just a guy in the band.

    H/T: Moody Blues

  • Dear NBL group,

    My understanding of consciousness. Sorry if this is harsh but I think time is running out, so because I would not chose this death we are otherwise chosing, I will have my say.

    Consciousness has been a net inescapable curse of mankind for millennia. This fact is why we cannot really aspire to do anything about it and or fight it’s systems of material expression. It has us in it’s jaws, we do not have will in it. Unless consciousness as it now manifests in common with humans can be evolved to something wholly new, transformed, evolved, we will not be able to fight it, we will go along as it carries us through to our death wish in extinction. It is our great collective desire, weather we admit it or not, finding no other way to escape the net misery it brings us, our final escape is collective death. We are beaching ourselves and our will to go on cannot be found. There is a certain peace in accepting this as a way out when we can find no other way. But the pain of life yet lived from this beach of doom taunts us yet, chances untaken, risks not willed and still possible, if only in wild dreams and thrashings on the beach where we await our end.

    The will to be in harmony with nature again is missing, the need so great it beats down on our every waking moment and we cower in confusion and cover ourselves in the veil of consciousness again and again against that insistent drumming. Turning deaf ears to it even as we beseech salvation in it. The will to be in harmony with nature again, to shed our conscious curse and find the will and power within to love in that dangerous and godly way through the dark side where all light is born. This is what we cannot find and have given up hope to find and instead have rested our final say in a final end to our inability and denial. The reinforcements abound. We cannot overcome that fear instilled in us of nature, we will kill her instead and gladly so, to end our suffering. Consciousness is so powerful and so awesome in our minds and hearts that we would abandon nature and die with it rather than change it and live with nature again. Or who among us can walk back through that door of forgotten and feared truth to embrace, love and befriend again, as an equal, that very nature we kill to deny?

    There is no rational reason why this metamorphosis will happen. This would be the miracle, the unexpected, the unaccounted for reality. The reality accounted for, even here, is the one that leaves our conscious mind trumping over nature, in and out. We are double blind to that fact as we wallow on the beach, acting the victim, while we enact the crime.

    Something might yet push us back to life and will and harmony again, but not this conciousness bandied about from dying will to dying will. None of our knowledge, none of our science will save us as it works primarily to kill us. It will not for it is the chosen vehicle for an end to our misery and misalignment in nature, it is the vehicle of intentional extinction.

    What could save us and reconfigure our experience of nature and relation with nature in ourselves? Unconsciousness. That is our name for the realm of renewal, the realm of gods and goddesses, pure energy, power, nature in the raw. How ironic that rather than face it within for survival, we bring it to bear without for death.

  • TIAA,

    Pure poetry, my friend. Maybe that’s what Zen … but what’s the use of trying to discuss Zen? Chop wood, carry water, love, and be.

  • Civilization is a mass-delusion machine that instills its myth-memes in each of the little meat computers that are integrated into the Civ-Machine, thus coordinating the activity of its many bits. The notion of a social system predicated on Truth is a fantasy. Some of the meat-computers (at least the ones that have “souls”) seem to be able to transcend enough of the programing to peer into the surrounding abyss and recognize the bleakness of it all.

    Justice? Another code for “interests of those in power.” Derek Jensen’s premise four:

    Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

    Civilization, the bio-psychic contraption that subdued the biosphere via industrialization and other religious apparatuses, was doomed to eventually destroy itself along with the species that comprises it. Like the cells of a mastodon, when the beast dies because it cannot adapt to its changing environment, we die with it.

  • KK – “I falter all the time and I keep trying to remember that moment in light.” this is a great summary of all that can realistically be done. recognizing and acknowledging however deeply we can the various ways we falter, and remembering, as best we can, whenever and however possible, what we are really all about.

    oldgrowthforest – I have immensely enjoyed what I have seen so far of your contributions here, especially everything in the ‘subsistence to resistance’ thread, and especially this:

    “They were not “hunters and gatherers.” They were statesmen, and judges, and priests, and doctors, and biologists, and farmers, and astronomers, and poets and artists, and lovers, and athletes, and gamblers, and sports enthusiasts.”

    and this:

    “How is that? They didn’t have rulers. They didn’t have records. How did they keep improving and improving the keel, the bow, the weight, the draw, until they reached such sophistication without records and rulers? They did it without tearing down a forest to build gazillions of records and rulers that require roads and infrastructure and universal education systems to teach everyone how to use the said records and rulers in a single, systematic and mechanical manner?

    They had no interest at all in measuring and labeling and universalizing and mechanizing the world. That cannot be overstated. They knew where it led. Where we are.”

    WOW – this puts things into perspective. for all that I value science, i also immensely value the equally deep ways of knowing and being that so many other cultures have found, long before science even got its boots on. we need to appreciate, and if at all possible, re-create or even expand on these ways, if there is any slimmest chance for a future here, for even a few humans down the road.

    “Personally, I’m completely convinced that consciousness is not bound by matter. Which is why I rarely post here but I do read for the good science on the environment. I just thought I’d help y’all out a bit, as I did a 40-page research project on consciousness for my degree.”

    please share more, if you are at all inclined.

    Artleads – thank you, a whole bunch.

    U – yes, the weird dance back and forth between nothing, then one, two… then nothing again, and and and on. humility? ah, i dearly hope I have enough, when i really need it. the temptation to overstep in various ways can seriously trip me up, but at the same time, i cannot step back from certain things, for many good reasons. thanks for your encouragement!

    Robin Datta – that was simply beautiful. I truly love your spiral dance.

    Thanatos Sunbum – I will start with the simpler parts, and go from there.

    For the power of love when being stuck in a blizzard, some schools of Tibetan Buddhism have a test for certain monks, if they are willing. The test is to go outside on a very sub-zero day, sit for many hours, dressed in almost nothing. On the bare shoulders and back of the monk is placed a large cloth soaked in ice cold water. The monk gets to demonstrate control of his internal energy enough to first warm, and then entirely evaporate the water from the cloth. Then another water soaked cloth is placed on his back, and then another. After many hours, it is determined that the monk has passed the test.

    what power of internal control allows the monk to do this? is love involved? i honestly don’t know, but something tells me love is part of the internal equation that allows the monk this level of self control and self direction.

    furthermore, it could be said that if you love your environment enough, you are obviously in tune with it enough not to get caught out in a blizzard in the first place. or if you are out there in the brutal elements, you have surrounded yourself with enough love, though your supportive family and clan and everything they can provide, that you are provisioned with whatever is necessary to survive the storm.

    for you deeper questions, we are back to the question of suffering, materialism, and the rest. yes, predators, and evil predators in your example, have an uncanny knack for putting themselves in places where there is easy prey. they need cover, and they will take it in some of the more obvious places of trust – churches, places of leadership, and so on, especially in the case of pedophiles who need young boys as prey.

    as for feeding them to your pigs? why wait? i understand that many of these twisted freaks, whatever their particular obsession, are usually victims themselves. but these cycles of abuse are so destructive and evil, and have given humanity so much of its worst outcomes, that i am pushed to my limits of compassion. my compassion is there, but also, i want to reach for a sword.

    these questions push any thinking, feeling being to his or her limit. for myself, all i can ask is that mercy be given to me for my failings, and i have enough humility to reach for mercy in my actions towards others, when it is called for.

    we do have free will, i ultimately believe, and this reaches to the furthest limits of both the choice to create ultimate beauty and express divine love, as well as other choices that are the extremes of evil. I know I sure didn’t create this system, but I also know, very deeply, I chose to live in this particular version of it. knowing this, I know I have the responsibility to deal with it in the best way I possibly can.

  • Some quotes from Viktor Frankl, death camp survivor:

    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

    “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

    “For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”

    And a quote from Nietzsche:

    “HOPE. Pandora brought the box of ills and opened it. It was the gift of the gods to men, outwardly a beautiful and seductive gift, and called the Casket of Happiness. Out of it flew all the evils, living winged creatures, thence they now circulate and do men injury day and night. One single evil had not yet escaped from the box, and by the will of Zeus Pandora closed the lid and it remained within. Now for ever man has the casket of happiness in his house and thinks he holds a great treasure; it is at his disposal, he stretches out his hand for it whenever he desires; for he does not know the box which Pandora brought was the casket of evil, and he believes the ill which remains within to be the greatest blessing, it is hope. Zeus did not wish man, however much he might be tormented by the other evils, to fling away his life, but to go on letting himself be tormented again and again. Therefore he gives Man hope,- in reality it is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of Man.”

    Two versions of hope? Take your pick…

  • The latest essay in this space was posted today. It’s here.

  • TIAA – my first intuition about you was blindingly on target. thank you (I think!) for searing my eyeballs right to the back of my too-conscious brain. I was struggling to say something that might have encompassed a fraction of your insight, but I kept deleting it. you are right, we cannot deal. I cannot deal. it will be dealt for us, or it will not.

    it is simply out of our will.

    now please excuse me while I catch my breath. I have been thrashing around here on this beach a while, you see…

  • @oldgrowthforest

    Yeah, I wonder what’s up with the NTE site? Anyway, I’ll just say ‘hello’ to you here! How is the Last Frontier treating you? We have been on the edge of the jet stream, so have enjoyed a relatively mild summer, but it has decided to get hot here, and the west is burning down, sending all that delicious wildfire smoke right to our front door in Rapid City. I thought I had internalized the dying of the trees, thinking this season had seen it’s bottom, but we were out and about yesterday, and I am simply stunned that the condition of the trees has gotten far worse. There is no discrimination in nature, and the ‘rich’ neighborhoods actually look worse than the poor ones, probably because they have more trees to notice.

    So, I cry about the trees, I have a raspy sore throat and asthma attacks from the smoke, and I think, this is what slow death looks and feels like. Just kind of icky, but also like universes are colliding. I watch and worry as the neighbors let their toddler play in a kiddie pool directly under the dead trees in their yard. I can understand not realizing that some of the trees are rotting and dying with a few sickly leaves hanging on, but these trees are bare. We sit out at night and listen to branches dropping in the shallow woods behind us.

    The past few days have seen a red sun rising and setting through the smoke, and Friday night I must’ve spent hours pacing around and staring at the reddest moon I have ever seen, trying to pinpoint just what shade of red it was. I decided on crimson, though vermillion was a good choice, as well. The moon last night was the prettiest pink, so I guess I am finding the beauty, though I know others are suffering the direct effects of those fires. Let’s just say I am being very humbled by the power of nature on a daily basis, and trying to find my place in it.

    Hope life is treating you good. Peace!

    Pink Moon https://youtu.be/P-Ya8adXZJE

    I saw it written and I saw it say
    Pink moon is on its way
    And none of you stand so tall
    Pink moon gonna get you all
    It’s a pink moon
    It’s a pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon.

    -Nick Drake

  • Inspired to try some resistance, I told some friends the whole arctic methane story this morning. I even remembered the names of Natalia Shakova and Igor Semiletov. My friends are intelligent, cool people and I wanted to show my respect by citing a few references.

    Well, turns out that science, data and just plain good sense went over like a lead balloon! They listened patiently and when I was done told me that all that global warming stuff was a lot of bunk and a total scam. I was stunned, flummoxed, flabbergasted and I reached for a fiddle, but remembered that I don’t play.

    They went on to tell me they are members of Minnesotans For Global Warming: http://m4gw.com/ Good god! They must practice being stupid all those long winters long.

    Holy suffering catfish, Andy! I didn’t know what to do! They told me that Jesus would rapture them up anyway and all I could say was, “Thank god for that!” Were talkin’ my surfing buddy here and he does my Rolfing treatments and his wife is a dear friend too. What could I do but let it go?

    Do we need to add arctic methane to taboo subjects when in “polite company”, along with religion and politics? I’m just grateful that I still have my friends. But, my dander is up! Maybe someday I’ll bring the subject up again, but not to them.

  • @ Robin Datta Hmmm… isn’t it necessary to see the light before people can shine it? Oh well, whatever, in the end boundaries blur, contrast is lost… the membrane between life and death dissolves. While alive, everyone desires kindness. Kindness is not possible after life… after we die… or from the dead. Where shall kindness come from?

    @ Thanatos Sunbum I think I hear your pain. Words have many uses but they cannot heal your pain. The medicine you need is not made of words. Nor is it made of other beings. Not the trees, or the birds, or the sky. You are the only medicine for this problem. A broken heart is healed from within. These words did not help you, your pain still lingers. You are the guru you have been looking for.

    @ Henry Thanks. We all need all the support we can get these days. I’m suffering too – and not only in the lofty intellectual realm. My physical situation is unenviable. When I give whatever I can summon, I’m lifted a little too. If my circumstances are a hint of things to come for all of us… all the support we can get may not be enough. Clearly situations are going to get increasingly difficult as we approach expiration. Shoved off the cliff, I keep looking for strawberries as I fall.

    (I’m sure most of you heard the original sequence of the story: A monk was chased by a hungry tiger to the edge of a cliff, death certain either way… Noticing a strawberry far below, without hesitation he leaped for the fruit.)

    See ‘ya all on the next page.

  • new essay to get to, so i’ll make this quick: acknowledging this blog’s function of discussing scientific factual ‘doom including many informational links to buttress the claim that it’s a done deal (i essentially concur) and existential philosophical emotional sharing and caring in the face of utter despair and horror, seems to me we could use a bit more distraction. check this out:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%A9phane_Mifsud

    i had no idea anyone could hold their breath for over 5 minutes, much less than over 11! freaky shit. big healthy lungs and tremendous willpower and desire to push oneself to the brink of collapse/death. also, it turns out humans have something called ‘mammalian diving reflex’ (google it) involving several interesting physiological adaptions that allow us to dive deeper and longer than would otherwise be possible.

    another distraction: if u like pretzels and ice cream, try eating them together sometime. combination of sugar, fat, salt, flavor, crunchy, and creamy. throw in a few nuts for good measure. life’s simple pleasures.

  • Dear Mo flo and Artleads, thank you, from my heart to yours.