Collapse: Exposing the Truth

by Michael Thomas, and originally posted at Exposing the Truth

Collapse - Exposing The Truth

Since I was a kid, I have heard people talking about various forms of collapse. The most often mentioned form of collapse is economic collapse, normally implying something like the Great Depression. There are other forms of collapse, like the collapse of nations or civilizations, as discussed at length in Jared Diamond’s “Collapse,” and as represented in our collective consciousness with images of the Romans or Babylonians, and their failing states.

If we look at nations as big cogs in the machine of global civilization, then the economy is that which keeps all the various gears turning together, keeps them moving smoothly. Thus, in this day and age, nations are subsystems of the global economy, and the global economy is a subsystem of global civilization, which is itself a subsystem of the biosphere or “world ecosystem.”

Unfortunately for us, the most ominous and likely collapse is not that of the economy or nations, which exist in many ways through our mutual agreement, but of the biosphere -the world ecosystem-, which exists independently of us. To reiterate the four most important facts leading to this conclusion are:

  1. Ecosystems do not react linearly to change, but abruptly switch states (Scheffer, 2001).
  2. That the global biosphere or global network of ecosystems, is threatening to collapse, if just 7% more ecosystems shift states (collapse at 50%, and we are currently at 43%) (Barnosky, 2012).
  3. Managers, planners, and politicians are not coordinating with scientists or experts (Staudinger: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, 2012).
  4. Evolution is far less likely than extinction (Schwartz, 2006).

To make this more understandable, we will define collapse as a sudden state shift with negative consequences; when a system becomes so unbalanced or tilted that it can no longer maintain its current state. This definition is functional in regard to everything from economies, nations, ecosystems, and even the world ecosystem: the biosphere.

A collapse is almost always triggered by a range of factors, and the totality of it is a function of measures taken before the collapse. Once a system has collapsed though, factors have to be brought to a point far before where initial collapse occurred: states have a certain resilience, or tendency to resist changing to other states.

This resiliency of natural systems can be witnessed in everything from relationships, families, nations, to ecosystems: they appear to suddenly shift states once a certain point has been passed, and returning them to their previous state will take far more effort than it took to “tip” the system into its new state. Think of it as an ice cube which melts and freezes at different points: it may melt at 32°F, but you’d need to get it down to 9°F in order to refreeze it.

Staudinger et al, 2012
Staudinger et al, 2012

But, what does biosphere collapse mean for you and me? It means, first of all, that the global economy would stop functioning: it represents a much deeper and ubiquitous form of economic collapse than that imagined by proponents of that theory. Land would be less productive, diversity loss accelerated, and mass extinction (already far higher than the background rate, estimated by the UN to be about 150-200 species a day) would be intensified. It means there would be less food, for a continually growing population, and a ravine instead of a gap between the rich and the poor.

It doesn’t just mean less food, it also means that extreme conditions and sudden changes have more drastic effects; ecosystems are less resilient, and these are exactly the type of changes which make extinction far more likely than evolution. It means the situation will get continually worse, and making it “get better” is about as likely as adapting to freefall after springing over a cliff: at best you only break most of your bones.

Humans are not used to thinking about such dynamic or sudden changes. Empirical evidence about how ecosystem states work has only been researched within the last 15 years, and this information has largely remained in the ecology community, and failed to reach the masses. The key to this, of course, is not to rely on existing mainstream sources to overcome their dissonance, but to ourselves become the media, to bring this information not only to our friends and families, but other intelligent people we come into contact with.

We can influence others by ourselves being the change, and work to shift awareness towards these important topics and questions. Must we wait until a methane burp, or for the continuing exponential rise of atmospheric methane , before we start to realizing these are problems more serious than any humanity has encountered before?

This is an emergency, and the difference between going over that cliff, or working to slow ourselves with enough time to grab the edge, is determined by how many people are aware of this emergency , and if their humanity is still intact enough to care.


1) Scheffer, Marten. 2001. “Catastrophic shift in ecosystem states”. Nature Publishing Group.

2) Barnosky et al. 2012. “Approaching a state shift in Earth´s biosphere.” Nature Publishing Group

3) Staudinger, Michelle D et al. 2012. „Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.Cooperative Report to the 2013 National Climate Assessment”.

4) Schwartz. 2006. “Sudden Origins: A General Mechanism of Evolution Based on Stress Protein Concentration and Rapid Environmental Change”

5) (mainstream source) (comprehensive analysis)


McPherson’s latest in a series for the Good Men Project appeared Saturday, 31 August 2013. It’s here.

Comments 74

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #29

    Darkness pilgrimage-
    exploring shadows beyond
    artificial light.

  • Great article, thanks !
    IMHO people are bombarded by two much information, too much news, entertainment, and even too many emergencies, for most to really grasp which are the important ones. Especially when the mainstream media and powers that be make sure we remain dispersed and confused.

  • Sailboat Races

    Some rich, with connections and jack,
    Could help to address doom’s attack;
    But hey, it’s all good:
    There’s no help that would—
    All the same, I’d like my life back.

  • Michael you wrote We can influence others by ourselves being the change, and work to shift awareness towards these important topics and questions. Must we wait until a methane burp, or for the continuing exponential rise of atmospheric methane , before we start to realizing these are problems more serious than any humanity has encountered before?

    Richard Duncan in his Olduvai Theory posits that industrial civ will end about 2030 and the blow that will bring it collapsing down will be the failure of the world’s electric grid. Bringing down industrial civ to stop pollution and climate change seemed like a good idea and something that should happen now, if it were to save us from slipping into irreversible positive climate feedbacks. However Fukushima has reminded us that nuclear power plants must be kept cool or they melt down and their fuel pools burn. In order to do that they need electricity. So we are stuck with no good options. The end of industrial civ were it to happen today MIGHT save us from catastrophic climate change, but the end of industrial civ would bring down the grid and 427 nuclear power plants would melt down. And as if that weren’t enough when the coal plants in China stop adding CO2 to the air they also stop adding particulate which is causing dimming. The CO2 in the air stays there a long time. The dimming ends almost immediately allowing us a one time experiment to find out how much that dimming is reducing global warming.

    Caught between a rock and a hard place as the saying goes. I don’t see anything we can do in time that can save humanity. We can however prevent any more humans from being born and having to die untimely deaths on a planet in chaos. Fertile people, get your tubes tied before the collapse eliminates other methods of birth control That is the only message I find worth sharing.

    But maybe you can think of a plan to decommission 427 nuclear plants starting now, while we are also reducing how much fuel we use to lessen CO2 in the atmosphere, while keeping societies intact until decommissioning is done while replacing the China Coal pollution with some other way of dimming.

  • It has become increasingly clear to me that action to avert global catastrophe needed to have been taken in the early 1970s, when most of the factors that are bringing about collapse had been identified.

    The nature of the political-economic system prevented action then. And now that it is too late to do much at all, the nature of the political-economic system still prevents appropriate action.

    Many of us have looking forward to a major financial jolt to shake confidence in business-as-usual. Unfortunately, it seem that money-printing, ZIRP and propaganda are all that are required to hold the system together…..well in the short term.

  • Hi everyone,
    Sorry if this is off topic, well, not entirely. I just watched this video that was posted at Jay Hanson’s site, and it blew me away. I think everyone of us should do everything we can to spread this over the internet. This deserves to go viral.

    -also a follow up comment at America 2.0 informs us that the like/dislike function for this video has been disabled. Go figure…

  • patrick o’leary

    This video is saying stick your head up, now. I did that 12 months ago on Fukushima. I wrote to Federal State and local elected representatives. I asked them to put aside party ideals, and use every channels, backdoors and avenues to speak to ‘power’ to get those reactors and fuel pools stabalised. I put my name, address and phone number. Within 7 days of those details being entered on those political party databases, I got phone calls from polling survey groups asking for my political and reading habits/views. My computer got hacked, and it would not function except to go to a federal polices screen demanding payment of $200 Australian(Some people are that dumb).
    Only the local Mayor responded, but thought my concern was for imported foods from Japan. I told him that for sure that was a concern but NTE by reactor and fuel pool failure was higher on my list. “Thank you for taking my call” he said.
    The actress in the video is to me saying, please stick your head up now, because you are easier to deal with now because you are more highly motivated if you act earlier than others. Later it will be just gas and bullets, much easier to do. Getting rid of the motivated resistors is all I can see this video will achieve, authentic or not.
    Not cynical, just aware of the tactics in a situation so FUBAR as we have now.
    Otherwise great video!

  • Yep, this is good, but the real issue is we have a cultural crisis, and ‘being the change’ isn’t going to cut it…a massive revolution might:

  • Good article, Michael! However, you’re selling hopium laced with guilt. That’s your right. But, I agree with the large number who claim that there isn’t a chance in Hell of turning this around.

    You said,
    “This is an emergency, and the difference between going over that cliff, or working to slow ourselves with enough time to grab the edge, is determined by how many people are aware of this emergency , and if their humanity is still intact enough to care.”

    Am I to believe that if I don’t suddenly begin to dedicate my existence to stopping global warming, that I’m somehow less than human? That seems to be what you’re implying. But, I wholeheartedly sympathize with you. Self preservation and the protection of your loved ones deserve a passionate response.

    This is how I see the situation, Michael. Looming in the near future is an unprecedented opportunity to rid the Universe of a degenerate species of corrupted primates whose most overwhelmingly dominate contribution to Life is suffering. It is my fond wish that humanity’s demise transpire as soon as is ‘humanly’ possible. You, though your intentions are good, are like the missionary that righteously foists his version of good on a people only to ruin everything. Have you even studied the data? If you save humanity, it will be temporary, you will doom your progeny to ever worsening conditions. Don’t you care about that?

    I think you need to meditate on human suffering for awhile. Let your mind wander back through history and remember the never ending war, the exploitation, the inhumanity wrought by ‘civilization’. The creation of unnecessary suffering, continuously hour by hour, day by day, year after year through century after century. Children, in their beds listening to the thunderous approach of war horses or lying there listening to the steady slamming of the bombs as they fall closer and closer. For god’s sake, how many really fine individuals have starved outside the gates of the rich? That will only continue if you have your way. Sure, I will grant that there have been some positives. But, they are so overwhelmingly surpassed by the negatives that there is no question that humanity does not deserve to exist!

    So, take your guilt trip and stuff it. I won’t go there. I’ll be human on my own terms and though I’m a father and love my wife and all those great things, enough is enough.

  • The resiliency of ecosystems is important and germane to this discussion, as are the way physical changes happen to the non- biological physical environment. This may seem to be a small point, but to me it was a glaring error. How can we ever hope to think clearly if we accept such basic mistakes? I am speaking, of course to your very erroneous suggestion that water does not freeze at 32 degrees F, but needs to be brought down to 9 degrees F. Maybe you could fix that error. It really distracted from your point, which I found a useful perspective.

  • Hey, sure, I’ll sing along in this quire, but it feels really absurd to preach to it.

    The people who would have to be reached for there to be any chance of avoiding human extinction, are, due mainly to their choice of information sources… and their willful ignorance… totally unreachable. We have no means to force them to understand and act. They certainly don’t read this blog. How about buying a Superbowl ad if you want to get their attention. (Hmmm… maybe we should start a little fund drive… any volunteers?)

    Only an optimist would continue to try, against all odds… Dam, I guess our only chance is to become optimists now. (insert involuntary giggle here) Oh well, on the other hand, as others have said, it is surely too late for pessimism.

    Trudge on. Enjoy what there is to enjoy, suffer what there is to suffer. Do the good you can. If the best a person can do is cry, do it, maybe it will do some good. Tears help sometimes.

    Meanwhile, here’s a quick B.C. Comic that seems on point.

  • H s Sapian is sooooo clever.

    This was drawn in 1968

    Man Demonstrating his Superiority over Animals

  • Michael, what is the story on the photo at top of your essay? A failed mining endeavor in Australia? Thanks in advance.

    Bob in Houston

  • Another classic from Ron Cobb, also done in 1968.

    Where all that conspicuous capitalist consumption, some people saw where it was headed quite clearly.

    America the Beautiful


  • Just spent three days entertaining my 90-year-old father. I’ll post about that and catch up. In the mean time, here’s a new article:

    And the first few lines:

    We may be slipping into one of the greatest mass extinctions in the history of the earth, but just how worried should we be?

    [quote from the Washington Post] “The world’s oceans are turning acidic at what’s likely the fastest pace in 300 million years. Scientists tend to think this is a troubling development. But just how worried should we be, exactly?”

    My dear Post reporter: It’s a troubling development when your cat persistently coughs up fur balls on your bed when you’re sleeping. It’s a troubling development when your car starts vibrating every time it hits 60 mph. When the chemistry of the ocean is reverting towards a primordial condition when it emitted poisonous sulfurous gases, it is not a troubling development. It is the beginning of a fucking catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

  • @Cowgirl: I interpret that to mean. too little, too late?

    @john: Interesting point. Is there a way to make this comprehensible to people without overload?

    I listen to Michael C. Rupert a fair bit and I think he might be on the right track. To incorporate a spiritual dimension to things. Take things out of the realm of of just plain rationality and make it emotionally real through conscious activity. Reconnect with the divine.

  • I agree with most of what Kirk said. Except the part where he attacks the writer for hopium. I want people to have hopium, that way they will suffer more when they eventually see that nothing is going to change, that no one is going to lift a finger to stop capitalism. The only people I have any respect for are those who have proof that they did something against the system. It doesn’t matter to me what is was. So, by that definition only those who are in prison qualify. I condemn 99.99% of everyone else, including myself, for the crime of being too obedient. I couldn’t be happier that we all going to die. My greatest fear is that I won’t live to see it. If I don’t die with a cannibal chewing on my arm, I’m going to be very disappointed. Although being killed by a methane burp would also make me happy, a methane fart would make me even happier. All the nukes melting would be a good one too, since I’ve been opposed to nuke power since I was a teenager.

    Although if the 1% did survive, it wouldn’t bother me, since we did agree to let them rule over us, and do anything they wanted, including destroy the rest of life on earth. They are actually the most honest, they’re just doing what the people want them to do, and what the people themselves wish they could do. So that’s it, prisoners and the 1% live, everyone else die. And please, do it soon, you disgust me.

    Kathy C said – We can however prevent any more humans from being born and having to die untimely deaths on a planet in chaos.

    Nah. Since when did people care about children suffering? No, I want them to have as many as possible, let those genes replicate, please! Give the people more of what they crave, an extra scoop of suffering.

    It should be clear by now that none of this is up to us. If Bill Gates, with his $70 billion doesn’t care about methane, why should you?

  • OH, but Mr. Gates does care about methane, or at least C02. He is, as we speak, investing in geoengineering research along with a Canadian investor – who BTW is the #1 Cndn individual investing in Tar Sands development.

    From Bill Gates to Oil Giants, Who Stands to Profit From Geoengineeering:

  • Definitely agree that the environment is the critical element and that the economy can probably continue the extend and pretend routine for longer than our biosphere can hold out. However, not all of the “facts” mentioned near the start of the article are actually facts. But perhaps that’s nit-picking.

  • Kirk,

    I’m not sure why you want rid of humans completely. If they all go, who will document the renaissance of planet earth? How will we know that the earth goes on to exist with all species in harmony with each other, living sustainable lives?

    Humans were part of that mix and living more or less sustainably for a couple of million years (a few hundred thousand years for our species of human). Once the human population is back down to a few hundred thousand, I’m sure it will all be sweetness and light. No need for complete extinction.

  • Erin
    Your last paragraph…Dry very Dry, Alan Rickman could do it justice IMO.

    Ted Howard
    The link to the Orion Mag article by D J is interesting. It still begs the question(I have my own answer) of where is all the consumption requiring the IC come from? Is it just the advertising of unneeded goods. Do people ear the IC food, or as Mark Boyle, and others say, half the food made is wasted? Etc. It is a complex equation sume to make, ut my take is that although it may be a con the starting point perhaps always should have been personal consumption, so people do own the problem, but the next phase of stopping the train wreck is implied by asking the question of what level of individual action is next? DJ does end with some other options, but the wider argument needs to be put to populations that do what Jensen discusses, become citizens again, but IMO you may have to start again with 12 and unders!! (Time for that still?)
    Just sayin.

    how are the stats looking.

  • If you can’t beat em, join em? So, resistance is apparently not going to save the day. Instead of trying with all one has to slow the proverbial bus that is heading for the cliff (that we seem to agree can’t possibly stop in time anyway) only to have the bus roll over the edge and continue to careen down into the canyon catching fire and exploding as it goes, perhaps instead we should become hyper consumers and garner attention to the problem by claiming that we can jump the bus over the canyon. So to speak consume our way to energy independence. At least that would qualify for advertising $’s and media coverage. In this crazy upside down world maybe we are approaching the idea of getting people to pay attention the wrong way. They can’t hear us because we aren’t speaking their dialect of denial. Just a thought.

  • I agree with Kirk Hamiltion AND Ripley!

    I sit and watch the cars go by and everyone looks so serious – but they are serious about what? Nothing important! I used to be that way.

    I don’t spend much time thinking about the people of Earth that are going to be shocked when there is nothing to eat and nowhere to turn. I see the people here and I KNOW they have no idea what they will do when SHTF – they will be most pathetic.

    I sit and wait.

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

  • @Ripley

    Regarding prisoners, one story that sticks in my mind is that of Eric McDavid and Anna the FBI informant.

    I’m assuming she flirted with him, led him on sexually, provided plenty of money and most importantly the encouragment:

    Anna: Tomorrow, what are we planning on doing tomorrow? Are we still planning on doing anything tomorrow? Or should I just stop talking about plans?
    McDavid: Hmmm.
    Weiner: I would love it if you stopped talking.
    Anna: I would love it if you guys followed a plan! How about that!

    Anna was rewarded with more than $65,000 by the government.

    Eric got 20 years in prison.

    Something sucks when you are trying to do the “right” thing, being betrayed by a woman you have a puppy love for and then ending up witha 20 year stretch really is… what? sucks?

  • Ted Howard says “Being the change isn’t going to cut it … a massive revolution might.”

    Oh, there’s gonna be a revolution all right. The problem is, it’s not going to be a popular uprising initiated by “The People”.

    In fact, the war for control has been going on for a few decades now, ever since the US topped peak domestic oil production back in ’73. It really began to accelerate with the advent of global peak production back around 2007 – yep, the beginning of the so-called ‘financial crisis’.

    Every move makes, in conjunction with its various allies, is motivated by one single factor: everything that is discussed on this board is an accurate projection of how (a) events are being driven @ a core level; and (b) reactions by individuals & states are going to unfold.

    The West no longer lives under any kind of legal representation, commonly referred to as constitutional governance. It’s questionable if it actually ever really did, but that is essentially moot as reality is slowing being introduced to the masses.

    The key element at this point in the game is not the endless discussions of what is happening or what can be done. (Answer: nothing.) Rather, it’s observing the various maneuvers taking place in accordance with an understanding of exactly what’s happening & why.

    In this way, ‘enlightened’ or knowledgeable people can maximize their own sweet daily enjoyment of life by anticipating & positioning themselves to personally benefit.

    Here’s a couple of questions that you should be asking yourself: how are you going to manage in a world of depreciating wealth, increased travel restrictions, resource rationing, price controls and reduced civil liberties?

    Because these events are all going to take place, in fact are now taking place, for no other reason that they are necessary conditions for the state to maintain control. The downward trend of Rome is replete with each of these steps/mechanisms, which gave birth to feudal Europe after its collapse.

    Our process of denouement will be accelerated, but each step & procedure in the script will still be followed. How you anticipate & react to these events is the real question.

  • Erin, you rule.

    September is a busy month for birthdays and my husband brought home a card to warm our hearts. It’s got sort of a “where the wild things are” friendly smiling monster on it. The text reads:

    It’s your birthday, and you’re another year older. It could be worse. You could be an endangered polar bear trapped on a melting ice cap, as global warming destroys your habitat and the gluttonous fishing industry depletes your only food source.

    (open the card here)

    So celebrate. It’s not like you’re on the brink of extinction.

    Ain’t that a hoot?

    We “know”, we just don’t KNOW. You know?

    (Hope this one posts. Last one didn’t)

  • Kunstler referenced this article written by Jim Willie that lays out what’s happening in Syria & the ME, and the larger implications with regard to the petro-dollar:

    While the analysis is spot on, Willie, like many others, either really believes the US media cannot connect the dots, or just throws out some red meat for readers who seem to believe that they are the only ones who can put all the pieces together.

    Neither is accurate; the media knows exactly what’s going on, but is using its position of influence to feather their own beds. Like many, many people who can see what’s happening, everyone is already acting in their own self-interest to position themselves to possibly survive the collapse.

    This stuff regarding resource wars ain’t rocket science. It isn’t a coincidence that Hawaii was annexed right in the middle of the Spanish-American war. You see, HI is unparallelled in strategic importance; back in 1898, it was a critical coaling station to support the US navy’s operations to seize the Philippines from Spain.

    Fast forward 40 years, and the USA is Japan’s #1 oil supplier. However, when the the US decided it could no longer support Japan’s actions in China, and made moves to cut them off, Japan had to look towards Indonesia as a substitute. But, like the Philippines, you can’t control SE Asia with the US Navy around, and US naval presence in the Pacific is all about HI. Hence, Pearl Harbor.

    Likewise, the German army **had to attack** Stalingrad in order to both control Russia’s oil fields AND deny the Russian’s access to those same resources for their own industrial & military use. A two-fer if you will.

    Gasoline in the USA should really be around $15-20/gallon if priced on some kind of market driven/value-added metric. Syria and the ME are all about keeping it @ $4/gallon by imposing an artificial dollar standard via military force.

    When people are made aware that they will have to relinquish all civil liberties in order to ensure $4/gallon gas, the vast majority will quickly fall in line. This is what people should be focusing on: how the moves will unfold, and how to position themselves to benefit. The key is to make each day as comfortable and fun as the last.

  • My latest essay for the Good Men Project was posted today. It’s the sixth essay in a seven-part series, and it’s here.

  • ” Managers, planners, and politicians are not coordinating with scientists or expert…”

    They don’t seem to be coordinating even between themselves, and are not acting (separately or as a group) as if the biosphere were a single homeostatic entity to be managed, planned and politicized over in a systemic and holistic manner. This no doubt is exacerbated by nationalism, pride of turf, inequality, selfishness, greed, ignorance, as well as all of the other 70 deadly sins…

  • Meaningfulness

    What brings that great feeling to critters
    And gives perseverence to quitters?
    Well, inside meat robots,
    It’s there while you’ve got lots
    Of feeling-good neurotransmitters.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #36

    Got remote desert
    coyote hideout doomship-
    who needs Burning Man?

  • Guy McPherson says: My latest essay….

    “We act as if America’s cultural revolution never happened. We act as if we never questioned the dominant paradigm in an empire run amok, as if we never experienced Woodstock and the Summer of Love, bra-burning hippies and war-torn teenagers, Rosa Parks and the Cuyahoga River. We’re right back in the 1950s, swimming in culture’s main stream instead of questioning, resisting, and protesting.”

    Aw, Guy, I hate to say this, but:

    The Sixties

    We were rich, drugs were new, we transcended,
    But now we are overextended:
    In the Summer of Love,
    Many things were dreamed of—
    I know; I was there, but it ended.

    Rick says: In this crazy upside down world maybe we are approaching the idea of getting people to pay attention the wrong way.

    They reject what we try to bestow,
    So a new way might be apropos:
    Say it’s secret stuff,
    And then, sure enough,
    Everyone will want to know.

  • BTD, I hate to say this, but this summed up the situation for me.

    The Sixties

    We were rich, drugs were new, we transcended,
    But now we are overextended:
    In the Summer of Love,
    Many things were dreamed of
    —I know; I was there, but it ended.

    I’d prefer an alternative, not yours necessarily, to swimming upstream. :-)

    We talk about science here a lot, and I suppose that a major tenet of science is to observe and record. Some NBL people do it on occasion, but I wish we did it more. B9K9 seems to be proposing that too. Just really lovingly observe the society. Does anybody see what’s going down, sort of thing.

  • There will never be a solution ever enacted upon by human civilization………period……..not even close.

    Our political/economic situation is driven by fractional reserve lending predicated on the payback with interest to ever increasing growth in the consumption of natural resources…

    …..until society develops a zero growth economy we will never have even a hope to create a sustainable society in sync with the natural world let alone a reality of one.

    All the alternative energy in the world won’t do a damn thing if we continue on the path of economical growth…….let alone the population growth in which both fuel each other up the ladder of consumption and use…….

    We are in the end…….bacteria replicating and consuming at ever increasing rates in the petri dish known as Earth’s biosphere……..Just when we appear to be at the peak of our success……the exhaustion of resources pulls the rug out from under us………..

    I have done everything possible to lessen my footprint of life on earth only to see it be used up by others to replace what I don’t use………

    There will not be a solution to this problem…….ever.

  • Science. I’ve been feeling funny lately. I hope it’s not radiation poisoning. Kind of weak. Have noticed that all the bugs are gone. Well, unless you see a dead critter, then those big blue bottle flies just show right up. Where do they come from, anyway?

    PghPanther says, “……..Just when we appear to be at the peak of our success……the exhaustion of resources pulls the rug out from under us………..” The important word here is ‘appear’. We only ‘appear’ to be at the peak of some kind of success. But I wouldn’t call it success. And I have a question: If we used them to kill ourselves, were they really ‘resources?

    In a few years will someone say, “Remember when some of us still had hope, we called it hopium?” And some one else will answer, “Yeah, those were the good old days.”

    I once got to spit a big mouthful of chewed-up Cheetos at a passing Hummer. One of big new black ones. I felt better, but it didn’t last.

  • @B9K9 The key is to make each day as comfortable and fun as the last.

    haha!, what planet are you living on?! Each day is torture, watching the decline of everything, with a few laughs thrown in for good measure. You are absolutely right that NO ONE is going to do anything, there will be no revolution, there are too many games in progress, too many balls to keep one’s eye on. And the rest of the people aren’t even looking. Yes, some are likely feathering their nests, but with what? Money? What are they going to wash it down with when that is all there is left to eat? The last dregs of uranium-tainted water?

    It is a big, bad, ugly, mean world out there, and that is just family. There is beauty and love, small comforts, but those things are fading fast as we grasp at them and clutch them greedily to ourselves. Around here, I love watching the short-grass prairies change with the seasons, and even the stages of the crops that are planted, because it is a stark reminder that nothing was ever meant to last. It’s just a shame that we couldn’t have been more graceful about the whole thing.

    There have been some shining moments of humanity, probably mostly unnoticed and unrewarded, but much of the human experiment is embarrassing. When I visit a small town here and see people walking around that are just shells of what they could have been, and then leave that town with the image of a pregnant 13 year-old girl slugging a Mt.Dew as she climbs into the bed of a pick-up truck, headed home after the Labor Day parade, well, yes, I’m ashamed.

    All of the concern, love, and empathy that any one person can muster will never make a difference on the grand scale, due to The creation of unnecessary suffering, as Kirk Hamilton so aptly accuses us of as a species. I appreciate this article from Michael Thomas, because he is right that this is an emergency, but it seems more and more obvious that people aren’t going to ‘wake up’ via facebook, or any other information source. They are only going to wake up when something big and scary comes knocking on their door, jolting them out of sleep. I care, and I try to spread the news, but it seems folks don’t care or listen unless they have been steeped in this stuff for much of their lives. From here on out I’m going with some Native wisdom that I stole from LRI (Yes, you can steal wisdom. Anything goes these days, just ask B9K9!):

    Don’t diminish your force by trying to ready those that don’t want to be ready…
    Let dead weight go its own way.

    And since Kirk is going around wasting perfectly good Cheetos on Hummers, I guess I can let go of my bad mood long enough to share this little gem that I have been enjoying.
    Good night, all.

  • Many thanks to all who have posted articles NBL, you’ve obviously done your job well since the bloggers here have continued to respond with a fantastic stream of high quality posts. And thanks to Guy for another thoughtful piece at The Good Men Project:

    “If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.”

    History does show that humans are willing to breathe some pretty foul air, if it produces a large enough pile of money to count. Seeing just how degraded we can make our environment, and still count our money, seems to be the ultimate goal of our way of life (death). How low can we go? How about creating environments that will be radioactive dead zones for thousands of years like Chernobyl and Fukushima; that’s pretty low isn’t it? But judging from the non-reaction of the people of the world, it’s not low enough. This is what makes modern life so exciting, trying to imagine what wondrous new lows humans will achieve. I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.

    This is also why the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God/heaven seems so foolish to me. How low would a god have to be to want to hang out for eternity with such a despicable species?

  • @Ripley

    The story of Noah and the flood springs to mind!

  • Back to reality:

    Several proposals for moon bases and colonization of the red planet are moving forward.

    Innovation seems at an all time high, with incredible breakthroughs heard daily for those who bother to read into them.

    The youth are adapting and pushing through the perceived barriers that an obsolete old timers attempt to push on them, as has always been the case.

    Here in lala land. People talk psychopathically of the species, siding with other species, bizarrely betraying their own. Project their own archetypal evils onto the world, and unconsciously desire the species to be wiped out within the timeframe that they are wiped out.

    Little intuition plus massive facts void of heart = doomporn generating extraordinaire.

  • @PghPanther

    Wow! Think about what you’re saying for a minute. A “zero-growth” economy. Why settle for that? Why not get in tune with nature, adapt, and grow as has always been the case for living organisms?

    People are making idiotic absolute statements that lack context. Nature is always in flux. There is nothing that is truly stable. Time changes all. We can find a feeling of security in the perception that if only everything were different, things would be easier to manage. I think that’s boring as hell.

    Fractional reserve serves a political agenda that pressures the weakest to die out, and gifts those most capable of playing the game with the ability to shape the rest. It’s an abstract, somewhat hidden version of the same process seen amongst many other species. For anyone who thinks humans are the only one who have an “evil” social hierarchy, you’re delusional!!

    Having a “zero growth” economy would lead to great problems in the future. It would first need change, and adaption, but then we’d stagnate, and degenerate. Not a good plan.

    No, the only way forward is to get off this planet. Conditions will deteriorate, and the biosphere will get stranger and stranger as humans tinker and artificially learn to control their surroundings to an extent never before seen.

    Many will die. Guess what? Already happens every day. Many species will be wiped out. Guess what? That’s always been the case. Things will seem to accelerate. Guess what? That’s because we have pea-sized time-references. Things will be novel, and caused by the species. Guess what? That’s just how awesome we are!


  • For muffie

    donovan the intergalactic laxative

    Guy. You have to understand. Some folks here don’t know the difference between a signal caller and square dance caller. For those of you who have resigned yourselves to quitting and throwing in the towel isn’t it about time you offed yourselves? Why further consume additional diminishing resources?

    Whilst at a party (my party) this weekend I found myself amongst young twenty something males in conversation and when I asked the question “what is your idea of a sustainable human population”. My newly found friend “Nick” said “thirty thousand”. Truly a man after my own heart. And he was serious.

  • @ Rick:

    I’ve often said that The Resistance has it all wrong – spiking trees and protesting pipelines is EXACTLY the wrong thing to do. We should all be consuming as much as we can, don’t recycle, don’t reuse, don’t reduce!

    If The Resistance could somehow coordinate a real operation to crash industrial civilization, then I would join, but, they are so disorganized and insignificant that I cannot see them as a viable means to The Solution.

    At this point, the only hope we have is to crash civilization as quickly as we can – and the best way to do that (given the realities we live in) is to overload the system as best we can. Use as much oil as you can – leave your lights on, encourage fracking, buy a bigger car! Max out your credit cards, take out a second mortgage, install a big fat hot tub on your patio with a big fat gas heater – keep it at 106 degrees all Winter long. Buy a lot of things “Made in China.”

    I know this sounds bad – but, it really is the only chance. The Resistance is actually slowing down the crash – they are NOT helping!

    We need Industrial Civilization to crash. It will be chaos – it will be ugly and mean – a lot of children will suffer – but, if there is any chance for some Living Thing to make it, then it has to happen quickly.

    Of course, as the crash gains momentum, we have to take our chances that somehow we can dismantle the nuclear power plants so they don’t all go Fukushima. And secure the nuclear arsenals as well. And dismantle the toxic infrastructure of Industrial Civilization like refineries, uranium mines with their toxic acid mine drainage issues, and manufacturing facilities, rendering plants, etc., etc., etc.

    This is the only hopium that makes any sense – even though I know there is no chance we’ll be successful.

    Need a reason to gain a sense of urgency? Here you go:

    Gangs of criminals, posing as computer recycling firms, are dumping hundreds of containers full of broken computer equipment in the developing world every week.
    Up to 900 containers a week are arriving in Africa and Asia from Western Europe and the US, according to e-waste experts.

    The dangers of discarded, old computers stem from what’s inside them. Your typical piece of electronic equipment — especially one like a PC with many circuit boards — may contain up to 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of lead, along with lower levels of mercury, arsenic, cadmium, beryllium and other toxic chemicals [source: Downing].

    I think my first computer was a Compaq laptop – I had Lotus 123 on it and it had a black and white screen! I’m sure that old laptop is rotting in a hole somewhere – leeching it’s toxic cocktail into the ground and into the groundwater and into your home and into your children someday.

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

  • the sad reality is that for years — and even to this day — many so-called recycling operations are simply collection points. Collected electronic devices and parts are sold to scrap brokers, who ship this cargo to developing nations for deconstruction.

    So why bother transporting e-waste? Why not recycle it right where it is? Like many aspects of the global economy, the cost of shipping e-waste is more than made up for by the cheap labor available at its destination. Recycling electronics in developing nations (including China, India, Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast)­ is achieved at a fraction of what it would cost in developed countries. Part of the savings also stems from the fact that occupational and environmental laws tend to be weaker in those regions.

    Once the e-waste arrives in these economically challenged regions, laborers earn their incomes by recycling these old computers, TVs and cell phones for their core components. And the process is ugly.

    In some communities, the young, the old and everyone in between dismantle e-waste every day. Laborers smash and unhinge devices, spraying toxic shrapnel all over the ground, where people with no shoes walk. Then workers employ a variety of methods to track down and remove the metals from objects like circuit boards, semiconductors and wires.

    Fire can burn away the flame-retardant cocoons that cradle copper wiring, releasing soot and smoke into the air. Fire also melts the metal off circuit boards and other electronic organs. This allows workers to harvest gold, lead, copper and other materials from the burned plastic husks.

    Another method is an acid bath. Soaking the circuit boards in powerful solutions of nitric and hydrochloric acids (highly corrosive to human tissue in strong concentrations) can free the metals from their etched electronic pathways. This process is often done by hand. After that, the recovered resources are sold and re-enter the manufacturing cycle.

    The acid, hazardous waste and worthless byproducts are often burned or find their way into local water sources, often by outright dumping. Tests performed on the air and soil that surrounds large recycling operations show a high level of pollution. Researchers are studying how this e-waste recycling affects the local populations. Preliminary reports are expected to show negative results.

  • @Rob at the public library

    Got a question for ya.

    Who in their right mind is going to mention on a public forum what the non-quitters are doing to crash the system? Have you read the recent Orlov? Use your imagination man.

  • muffleupagus Says:

    “No, the only way forward is to get off this planet.”

    I’m not even disagreeing with you, but since, as you say; “Innovation seems at an all time high, with incredible breakthroughs heard daily for those who bother to read into them”, do you think it might be possible to build your spacecraft from recycled plastic and nuclear waste? Innovation was at an all time high when that stuff was produced as well. You might like to take it with you on your space journey to remind you of the unmixed blessings of innovation.

  • Speaking of extinctions and collapsing ecosystems, here in New England on Sept 4th I have not seen a single Monarch butterfly or Tiger swallow tail the entire season and extremely little butterfly activity of any kind at all. Last year there were Monarchs all over the milkweeds so this year we left every milkweed plant we saw to grow as food for butterflies even if it was smack in the middle of the garden or in the middle of the path. Oh well.
    I read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Flight Behavior,a while back about the collapse of the Monarch population and it was a very good and a very sad book. It is infinitely more sad to see it happening for real.

  • The key to this, of course, is not to rely on existing mainstream sources to overcome their dissonance, but to ourselves become the media, to bring this information not only to our friends and families, but other intelligent people we come into contact with.

    2008-2011 I did this. I was quite successful at convincing people that this was going to happen. I would weave a compelling presentation / argument involving Energy, Environment and Economics. Ah… those were the days, I still had some black hair, I was full of fire and righteous indignation and the “Yes we can!” attitude.

    The only problem was, that I was equally unsuccessful at getting them to do anything. Well, anything beyond changing light bulbs. In retrospect, Mr. Gore seems to have been onto something, he understood the limits of an average human’s scope of reaction to the impending extinction of our species.

    The primary responses that I came across once I had broken the barrier of, “You are talking nonsense, nothing is going to happen. Haven’t you heard we are about to setup permanent bases on the Moon pretty soon and after that we will be off to the stars.” were:

    1. God will save us. Indians are big on Gods, after all we have 330 million+ (and increasing) of them.

    2. Technology will save us. In my mind I cannot really name one technology that has actually helped in any way.

    3. It will not happen any time soon. Upon further questioning, OK so if it happens in your children’s time or grandchild’s, are you OK with that? The response was either, no it will happen much later and back to option 1 or 2. Or, it is not my problem. Yes, it is not my problem.

    4. Your facts and figures could be wrong after all, all those scientists sitting on the Arctic need funding and if they do not publish dire reports how will they secure their funding? I would say, check them for yourself. They would say, we don’t have the time. I would say, well is there anything more important than this? Eventually, they would say 1 / 2 / 3.

    Late 2010 ~ Then there was the conversation with my now ex-girlfriend. She took her time, all of 2 and half years, and eventually got convinced about what I was talking about. But she was way more intelligent than mi, and immediately concluded that at this rate human extinction was imminent (end 2010, we were not really aware of the Nuclear Holocaust, or the Methane Time Bomb, etc other imminent threats), so she said what is the point? Why fight? Why even try? I said, because we have a moral imperative. I could not explain to her that it was not the part where we will all die that bothers mi, the part that bothers mi, is the time when we are still alive.

    In retrospect, I wonder sometimes, could I have given up on my crazy ideas and accepted cold logic? Could I have settled for a few drunk evenings and warm nights in exchange for a dead conscience. I guess not, not that it really matters anymore.

    Early 2011 ~ One person (a cousin brother) agreed that things were coming apart at an alarming rate. He works with navy’s meteorology so it was not very difficult to get him to understand. He was telling mi how difficult it was getting to predict the daily weather.

    His son was around 3 years old at that time. So I played the emotional card, and said, for your son! He mulled over it for a while and then responded, what if this does not happen any time soon? We go back to our village, start farming, and this thing does not happen any time soon, then my son would lose out on city life and all the fine schooling, health care, etc. Hence, I cannot embark upon a course of correction. What is the guarantee that what you are saying is going to happen any time soon?

    Back then (early 2011) I still believed that if we prepared and made it through the initial stages of collapse we could still have a shot at surviving or improving the human condition.

    I said to him, I understand why you don’t want to give up your current lifestyle and as for your assurance, this is exactly why human beings are not going to survive. Because, not enough of us are going to do what needs to be done to ensure our survival.

    Mid 2011 ~ Completed the shutdown of my business. Sold my flat. Returned home to the village to live with my parents and start farming. The next logical step, I had been growing veggies on my apartment roof. Everyone I know thinks I am some kind of a freak for returning to the village when everyone is headed the other way. Sometime I wonder what happens if I tell them why I moved here, but I don’t talk anymore. Except with my parents who have finally started to come around in the last year or so.

    2012 ~ I spent 6 months working for an NGO trying to promote Organic farming on the grass root level. This was my second stint at NGO work, first one was in 2009. It was an equally crushing experience. To sum up my experience, people whose jobs entail that they lie will not tell the truth.

    2013 ~ Completed 32 revolutions on the 3rd rock from the Sun. So far this year, a little farming and mostly fiddling around and fretting about :)

    Those who live by the hopium will die by the hopium. Those who live without will die without. Don’t make no difference. I wish the author well.

    To the Fiddle :D

  • In a previous thread, Guy McPherson says: Tribalism worked for two million years in a diverse array of situations. It worked before and after civilizations arose in specific regions. For many decades, our version of civilization has been successful only for a few individuals of one species, yet we keep tinkering with the system long after it’s failed.”

    Life had a much better vibe
    In old times, from what they describe;
    It’s for what we evolved,
    But we now leave unsolved
    Improvement on when we were tribe.

    In a previous thread, Bob S. says: NBL is one of a handful of sites where NTE is openly and freely discussed….topic here is NTE.

    Losing focus until you don’t see
    Helps avoid what is soon going to be;
    In contradistinction,
    We’re facing extinction,
    So the topic is NTE.
    Wall of Ice

    Even a dumbass would know
    That the dam must soon overflow;
    A big wall of ice
    Might look very nice,
    But how long till people say, “D’oh!”?

    What do they think can be won?
    Maybe time to get used to doom’s gun,
    And accept the idea
    Of no panacea:
    There’s nothing that can be done.

    (Sorry, I can’t find the post which brought up this very smart observation to credit the original thinker.)

  • @John Glover

    I’m such a troll that I don’t rely on anyone talking poo about me to continue on… because trolls don’t need that, oh wait a sec…


    Well I don’t plan on leaving the planet. I’ll proly die an untimely death with many others. I do get your point, but it feeds into mine as well. This is all about values. Whatever we do, we’re stepping on some-thing/one else. If you can’t accept that risk, then stop breathing, except you can’t because you’re programmed like everyone else to survive. No shame in accepting who we are, and have always been. Animals.

  • @kk
    Thanks for your comments. I think that many here at NBL could share a similar story especially when it comes to you stating “everyone I know thinks I am some kind of a freak”
    Either that, or many friends and family just think that we’ve lost the plot altogether.
    Thankfully, Guy has provided us a space here to find others whom we can relate to, as we watch this train wreck unfold.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #37

    To hell with reason.
    What’s left, rock bottom and rhyme-
    blue lobster’s domain.

  • since u mentioned it, thestormcrow, i haven’t seen any monarch butterflies this year either in western ny. hmmm?

  • Idle curiosity, but there are people here who live on the West coast or in the Pacific…..are any of you thinking of moving?

    I asked a couple of San Diegans if they’ve heard anything about Fukushima, and they were blasé as they said, “oh, yeah, we’re not supposed to eat anything out of the ocean.”

    A family member just purchased a place in the Bay area.

    Despite my best efforts to “ready” those who do not wish to be, letting go of that need to try to keep loved ones safe is harder, I think.

  • Quite amazing to see some folks appearing to actually believe that they have no requirement for the rest of life on this planet!? Obviously school systems really are as bad as has been reported. Ecological sciences are openly called ‘liberal agendas’ in many right wing ‘religious’ reactionary backwaters. Disgusting. Others seem to think that intensifying the catastrophes we are causing through wanton consumption – climate change, mass extinction, illness… is a good idea…!? Hmmm… follow the meme, it sounds like something Rush Limbaugh and others of right wing corporate ilk would say. Yup, and here’s another bright example: The Christian Wrestling Federation.

    As human societies hit limits and collapse, apparently not only are people less educated, there is also a rapid increase in the numbers of dangerously confused and deranged, angry, even brutal people… suffering from extreme mental distress… some of whom will become acute existential threats to themselves and others… leading to calls for more police crackdowns on homeless people and other ‘others’… and, the further erosion of civil liberties, such as the open conversations enjoyed here. Trolls for fascism would happily further this stuff, with a side order of schadenfreude. Such mental illnesses are becoming increasingly significant factors as decline tears up human societies, and humans. At some point, madness might seem ‘normal’. Perhaps it already is.

    Add another accelerating self reinforcing feedback loop – insanity.

  • I should have checked that Fukushima report more carefully, maybe it’s faked, part of the propaganda war, the comments say the whale photo is from NZ.

  • I was ready to post a sentimental “save some of the other species” post — coming up, any day now, had the draft somewhere on my computer, I swear. “Maybe if we all… blah blah blah”. Maybe this one’s not in the ‘serious’ spirit I usually do offer, but…

    I just walked out my back door, and, on the walkway was a brown fat slug, parked for at least the past hour since I got home, over the squishy remnants of another slug — dissolving in the rains from yesterday, never saw him in full corporeal form, didn’t step on him, I’m pretty sure — and I’m thinking “Have the slugs gone Cannibalistic now??? Can’t we rely on anyone to be — whatever?!?”

    (That begs my general question of “How do slugs get to new places so quick, when they move so slow, or you never see them move at all?” (One was sitting atop my kitchen faucet a few weeks ago) but I’ll leave that to the experts for another time. This one was definitely feasting. Slowly. Probably still is.)

    Well, that’s about it. If even the “lower” life forms that we can see are chowing down on their unfortunate brethren, how can we trust anyone, let alone the 80% mass of bacterial colonies in our own bodies who don’t give a sweet shit how we live or die, but would probably jump ship in a flash if we don’t feed ’em like they’re used to?

    Here today, slime tomorrow…

  • Canute the Great and the Wall of Ice

    King Canute showed his limited might
    Using water, which seeks its own height;
    TEPCO, I’m guessin’,
    Will learn the same lesson,
    And never get Fuku fixed right.

    The Wall

    There’s no ice which they can install
    To completely encircle it all;
    Plus, flows over the top
    Make the need never stop
    For another cube in the wall.

  • @logspirit, thanks for the CWF link. I sent it to my Rapture-Ready sister. She lives in suburban CT and is angry that the public school teaches her children that humans are animals.

    There really is no hope, as this sampling from the local paper of a few days ago confirms:

    Letter: Don’t Take Away Our Track

    Thursday, August 29, 2013
    To the Editor:

    It’s very upsetting to see the Canaan Speedway, which has been here for many years, come to an end just because the new owner feels that continuing the current operation will be a loss. Well, it wouldn’t be. The pavement side teaches kids to drive and thrive in racing. The racers look forward each week to racing and competing in their class. This is their lives, their fun and their fortune. They look forward to teaching their kids how to race and introducing them to the joy of competition.

    Saying this sport is dying may just be the owner’s way of justifying changes he plans to make to do what he wants with the track.

    The racers and fans brought money to the town. Now the town stands to lose as much as the racers will with the loss of the track. I’m there every week, as most are, to show allegiance and faith in these drivers. Sir, think real hard before taking both tracks away.

    I know for myself I have no need to go to Canaan or that way for anything. The one thing we love most will be gone.

    The new owner is taking away our track and all that goes with it. I cannot honestly say I wish him good luck.

    Anna Emde


    Letter: Enough Bogus Climate Science

    Thursday, August 29, 2013
    To the Editor:

    Regarding the Bloomberg News of Aug. 5, “Turning the Tables: The Climate Exacts its Revenge”: In a farrago of ridiculously precise statistics, the claim is made that failing to act now on reducing carbon dioxide emissions will result in 2.5 percent more personal violence and 24 percent more intergroup conflict because tempers flare as the temperatures rise. There may be something in this: Look at where all the violence is taking place — in the Mideast, North Africa, India, Pakistan and Indonesia, all hot spots populated by Muslims driven mad by an 0.015 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and an 0.15 percent rise in temperature in the last 100 years.
    But then the editorial sinks into the increasingly desperate fear-mongering we have seen of late, conjuring apocalyptic visions of rising sea levels, acidic oceans, failing crops — all the result of Republican intransigence — and unless something is done immediately, the ranks of the “deniers” will grow to the point where nothing can be done to avert catastrophe.

    But who are these so-called “deniers”? They are the people who are fed up with bogus science. They have noted the perfidy of fund-seeking climate scientists colluding with each other to falsify and manipulate the data and prevent the publication of opposing views. They are fed up with the sight of government-subsidized windmills despoiling the countryside to produce unaffordable power. They know that the sea is alkaline and not becoming more acidic; they know that the rate of sea level rise is less than one foot per century; they know that plants love carbon dioxide and that increasing atmospheric levels are already causing increased global crop yields. They know that global temperatures have not risen for the last 17 years and that computer models predicting continuously increasing temperatures are worthless. They do not have a political agenda calling for a Luddite return to some pre-industrial dream world.

    My wish for the true deniers — those who reject scientific truth and think the sky is falling — is that they could all live in the land of their dreams. But please, count me out. I would rather live in the real world.

    Barrie Sellers


    I don’t know much about Jung, but I appreciate the reference to individuation. It’s obvious that these people need their false stories to feel whole. Besides assuming a level of basic logic and scientific understanding which they have never sufficiently grasped, we are asking people to trade what feels good for what feels bad.

    I’m curious about the process that might turn one of the people above into an NBL-er. I feel as though I have always been a skeptic and a contrarian, so the status quo was never something I clung to emotionally. You can hear the car woman’s ‘voice’ cracking’!!

    As for more clinically-designated mental illness, locally we have already been seeing a big increase in suicide and domestic-violence homicides in the news. .

  • @wildwoman: Why yes, this fourth generation Californian (with a recent 15 year layover in New Mexico) is pulling up stakes and heading east. I’m also leaving my twelve year relationship, to walk on the beach in Cape Cod, work on my bucket list, help others, and wait for the next hurricane, tsunami, nuclear meltdown, or what have you to hit New England. I chose Massachusetts for its recently legalized medical cannabis; state-mandated health insurance (there’s the little matter of my pre-existing condition- breast cancer-that is kind of driving the bus in these matters…), as well as a much needed respite from Fuku fallout, having lived the last few years in Northern California. California is so over, dude.

    @U I always appreciate some good compost – but that is some brutal and sad shit! I really hope it’s not true. My friends encountered a rare fin whale, beached and recently dead at Stinson Beach (just north of San Francisco) this past weekend. Seriously, thanks for thinking of me.

    @ V Terry: Sad to report that my Northern California butterfly garden has been unusually lonely this year :(.

  • re:
    “ulvfugl Says:
    September 4th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    @ Denise

    Haiku food

    Fukushima : Hundreds of Whales radiated to death.”

    Once again Fugu displays what a pompous, know-it-all, know-nothing, blow-hard idiot he is. All you have to do is scroll down the page a little and you find headlines like this:

    Fearing the Worst Godzilla Flees Japan!
    Masturbation Linked to Violent Behavior & Mental Health Issues Study Shows
    The Good Wives Guide to a Happy Stable Home

    … This one is great!

    BREAKING… Fukushima Crisis Escalates Tons of Radioactive Waste Released into the Pacific Causes Ocean to Boil…

    and on the side-bar …

    twins-separated-at-birth-wed-produce-hideous-incest-love-child/ (with authentic photos, too!)

    On the banner it touts Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin as “America’s Number One News Team”

    Or from the “science” section:
    NASA: Water On Mars Proves Planet Could Support Riverboat Casino and Hotel
    or from the “religion” section:
    Former Teacher On The Run After Criminal Actions & Telling 1st Graders That Santa, Easter Bunny And Tooth Fairy Do Not Exist

    From the “sports” section:
    God’s Favorite Athlete, Tim Tebow, Cut From Patriots By Satan Worshipping Bill Belichick

    Duh, I guess you “should have checked that Fukushima report more carefully, maybe it’s faked” … because the comment about the pictures of the eff-ing whales got you curious??
    Duh, again bozo! Ever heard of satire or parody or are you just too stupid to recognize it?

    Do you actually read or think before you shoot your mouth off? (obviously not – that was a rhetorical question … look it up)

    Kind of brings the credibility of everything this dip-shit says and posts into question. King of the Trolls, anyone?

    How the heck do any of you take this joker seriously at all? He is so consumed with the need to show everyone he knows everything about everything he actually posts this nonsense.

    Do any of you now have any question about how H. sapiens got itself into this biosphere killing mess with nut-job morons like Fugu on the loose?

  • I first had an inkling that things were going off of the tracks in college in the late 1960s.

    I was a conservative that believed that wise men led, that science could solve problems, that chemicals were beneficial and that all would be redeemed in a life after death.

    I was doing a research paper attacking Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring.” The hard research that I discovered on changing conditions appeared to support her conclusions that it was chemicals.

    A lot of what I read reported chemicals causing many unexpected and perhaps dangerous changes to people’s bodies.

    I ignored it. I wrote a paper on something else.

    Then I went to the Vietnam War. I came back a drunken, chain smoking coward with a death wish for me and the rest of humanity.

    In the early 80s, I picked up glimmers of serious people reporting that the climate was changing and not for the better. I traveled extensively. I was a no good drifter with an attitude but I saw one hell of a lot of the US.

    I saw the dynamic midwest descend into the Rust Belt. I saw mountains of slag near the ore refineries. I saw the flames from miles away of the flaring of the natural gas from oil wells.

    I saw rivers and lakes and ponds with signs posted warning of contamination. I saw the “do not eat the fish caught here.”

    I saw the shrunken and almost deserted mill towns of New England.

    I worked in the mines and smelters. I watched in plywood mills as A grade plywood went from no patches to three patches and then ten patches being covered up with birch veneer to sell as prime.

    I camped in the areas too high and too remote to be logged. I came back later and saw the devastation of clear cutting eroding the soil off of mountains into the rivers.

    I smelled the crap in the air in Hobbs, NM, where a local told me that was the “smell of prosperity.”

    I met more people that were dropping down economically. I talked to high school graduates that were working at wages that I would not have worked for unless I was starving.

    I saw the erosion of formerly sixteen to twenty-five foot deep prime topsoil eroded down to where the roads were so far above the corn fields.

    I choked as the crop dusters dumped their filth on the fields and forests. I saw the chemicals shimmering in the runoff water from irrigated fields and in the streams in the new “factory” forests.

    I knew that I was watching a country dying.

    In the early 1990s, I started reading of enormous changes in the environment. No one was tying them together except me. I knew from the little under reported items that a lot of things were changing for the worse. I thought that the whole thing would get tied together and the earth would no longer tolerate people and their filth.

    Now I smoke my 5 packs of cigarettes a day and I think that I will outlive the majority of the human race.

    The Japanese government and TEPCO are going to royally screw up Fukushima. They have lied and taped duct tape across an enormous threat to the human race. If Fukushima #4 fuel cells go critical, the result will evaporate all of the water cooling the cells and there will be an enormous melt down. That will cause the other 2 destroyed reactors’ fuel cells to go critical.

    When that happens the three supposedly safe “cold” nuclear reactors are going to produce enough atomic power to cause a nuclear winter when they go off in explosions that will make hydrogen bombs look like a child’s toys.

    To make things worse, no one has a clue as to where the melted down cores of three reactors have gone to. Beneath the plants is an aquifer. A huge aquifer that supplies Tokyo with drinking water. If the cores hit the aquifer, they will heat up the water to the point that it separates into hydrogen and oxygen and when that mixture hits the atmosphere, it is going to burn like 10,000 volcanoes erupting at once.

    It is a shame, I like whales and elephants and all of the other mammals that are going to die with the humans when our species’ suicide is complete.

    Even the rich and powerful that go hide out in the underground cities that were built during the Cold War are going to see what the chemicals in their offspring’s genes are going to do.

    Some research on children’s umbilical cords was done in New Jersey. They were able to trace over 400 separate industrial chemicals in the lowest level child’s umbilical cord. No one can ever predict accurately what effect the separate chemicals are going to do to the genetic makeup, but when they combine, I will guarantee you that the next generation will be mutants. In three generations, the last mutants will be unable to reproduce and the last of the humans descendants will die off.

    Mother Earth should have continued to have been worshiped before the false idols and priests led the humans to suicide for greed and profit.

  • @ Lidia

    Individuation. Sort of, finding out who you really are, as a unique individual. Before you die. I think that’s what he meant. Gives a purpose to life. Keep smiling. At least you’re not one of them ;-)

    @ Denise

    Gosh. Good luck with all that. Keep the haikus coming, I really like them.

    @ Thanatos Sunbum

    Pigs more interesting than you.


    “It has long been understood that completely different animals can end up with very similar traits (convergent evolution), and even that genes can converge. But a new study shows an unbelievable level of convergence among entire groups of genes. The study shows that animals as diverse as bats and dolphins, which independently developed echolocation, converge in nearly 200 different genomic regions concentrated in several ‘hearing genes.’ The implications are rather deep, if you think about it, delving into interesting limitations on diversity or insights into the potential of DNA. And perhaps more importantly, this finding goes a long way toward explaining why almost all aliens in the universe look surprisingly identical to humans (though still doesn’t explain why they all speak English).”

  • Muff said:

    “No, the only way forward is to get off this planet. Conditions will deteriorate, and the biosphere will get stranger and stranger as humans tinker and artificially learn to control their surroundings to an extent never before seen.”

    A great plan! Go live somewhere that has no food, little water, weak gravity, lethal radiation, and no breathable air. Yes folks, it’s just the simple! Just do it! It’s all good! Yes we can! A piece of cake! Wreck the Earth’s biosphere and then just leave and think you can simply make a new one in the kitchen. Spoken in the true spirit of the techno-misanthropes whose hubris has wrecked this planet. God’s speed, Muffy!

    Of course, these ideas reek of desperation. I like that Mars One plan for the one way trip to Mars. I hope they go soon, I could use the laughs. I would name the base, New Jonestown.

    evil is evil – Very profound and honest. Thanks.

  • nut-job morons

    Actually possessing great powers acquired from extensive, intensive, powerful practices: able to raise both great ire and great admiration. Not to be sneered at. Much for others to learn from, but also quite dangerous. Caveat emptor!

  • 60’s Flashback No. 1

    “During the Vietnam War, Abbie Hoffman announced that the new high was banana peels taken rectally. So then FBI scientists stuffed banana peels up their asses to find out if this was true or not.” – Kurt Vonnegut

    Plants that attract butterflies: Echinachea purpurea, Monarda didyma, Liatris spicata, Zinnia elegans. I’m happy to report an abundance of Tiger Swallowtails, Monarchs, many colorful moths, bumblebees and honeybees were observed in the garden this summer.

    To me this is worth standing up for and preserving/protecting.

    Early yesterday morning my day started out with the local deer herd at the woodsline near my pond. They were browsing raspberry foliage and ferns. I greeted them a good morning with my booming voice. Their radar ears perked up and they wagged their tails at me like happy puppies. As the day progressed a humming bird checked me out no more than three feet away from me for what seemed to be a long time. Amazing, beautiful creatures. I canned some 20th Century Asian pears (Pyrus sp.) as there is such a great abundance of fruit that scaffold branches of the fruit trees were at their breaking point from the weight of the fruit. Getting ready to enter some of my garden abundance at the County fair today. Have a nice day everyone.

  • With thanks to Michael Thomas for his contribution, I’ve posted a new guest essay by Carolyn Baker. It’s here.

  • @ Ogardener
    I think The Resistance is fragmented and it does not have a clear path to any objective. You have so many groups: DGR, EF, SC, GP, etc. and, right now, DGR is supporting a blockade of liquor stores near an Indian Reservation in Nebraska. WTF?

    IMO, there would be some benefit if there was a unified effort with a clearly stated goal. DGR clearly states that their plan means a lot of people die and they reallly have no answers for the “what comes next” if they are successful. Jensen says: “Right now, we need to stop this culture from killing the planet and let the people who come after worry about whether civilization is going to rise again.”

    You know, a very small minority of people on the planet can even comprehend the “big picture” as the majority of humans lack education and/or basic necessities or they are completely dependent on keeping things as they are. One might argue that if we somehow succeed in bringing down Industrial Civilization, it will just be a matter of time before it all just happens again… it is the nature of Life on Earth to consume all you can until you are extinct! And, in the end, extinct we shall all be – as widely scattered subatomic particles in the cold, dark, expanse of space… nothing remembered, nothing remembering…

    But, the dinosaurs existed for over 180 millions years – explain that!

    I don’t know, it gives me a headache. In very simple terms, it’s easy to see that the evolution of human intelligence only made things worse for us. Fat, drunk and stupid may not be such a bad way to go through life!

  • @ Lidia Thanks. Yes, it is time to go sane. And take as many along for the clear brilliant ride as we can. No matter what the outcome of our human predicament, only sanity can enable us to live out our lives as well as we possibly can. Delusions, culture traps, religious cults, violence fetishes, and other insane fantasies remove us from the fullest possible experience of this, the ultimate inscrutable miracle – our lives. Enjoy every moment as much as you can, take suffering in stride, and raise consciousness in every direction as the radiant being you are. Radiate love and amazing things happen. The results astonish me every time I intentionally do it, and when from habit – are even more startling. The weak sneer and sink into cynicism, those who love gain strength and live well and lift others. Take care, please accept and feel my radiance in your direction.

  • Rob at the public library, there really is no White Clay town, it’s just liquor stores just outside Pine Ridge with the sole purpose of keeping people enslaved. That is why DGR is there, working with people on the reservation to deal with the scourge.

    Denise, wow…good luck with the move! Cape Cod was lovely last I visited a couple of decades ago now. Don’t know how it has fared. Your stress levels have to be off the charts! Keep those cowgirl haikus coming.

    Lydia, I was just thinking of you. We are surrounded by idiots who deserve what is coming to them.

    ogardener, lovely pic! I love being buzzed by hummers….this year’s visitors aren’t so bold as last. Am seeing butterflies, but not that many. Many honey bees. Many dragon and damsel flies.

    There is one question I keep getting that I don’t have an answer for. When I moan about orangutans being threatened, or rhinos or elephants or the arctic ice cap, people say things like, “why do you care? You’ll never see (insert choice here)”. I’ve tried explaining why everything matters, but I need something snappy, something true, something that will shut them up and make them think.

  • @ evil is evil, your post reminded me of this song. You’ve more than likely heard it but it fits.

    @wildwoman, maybe this is kind of snappy. You can say, “Listen here little bitty buddy, when the ice and the elephants and orangutans are gone, YOU’RE NEXT.