Video Clips, an Essay, and an Interview

The two clips embedded below were shot by Pauline Schneider a month ago. They are part of a documentary film she is creating.

My latest essay for Transition Voice was posted today. “As the Empire declines it gets nastier” is linked here.

UPDATE: I was interviewed by Michael C. Ruppert on the Lifeboat Hour Sunday evening, 22 September at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time (9:00 p.m. Eastern). The result is embedded below.

Comments 232

  • printing food would add further energy input not less to that equation.

    It is not easy to unscrew cross-threaded heads and screw them back properly onto the shoulders. And not worth the ERoEI! :-O

  • TIAA, you know nothing about me if you really think I would do what you accuse me of!

    I do believe, with utter certainty, that our only hope of avoiding NTE is a controlled power down of IC. I’m not certain that even that would save us, but it’s the only idea I’ve seen that MIGHT work.

    Happy thoughts, meditation, deep breathing, or hope ain’t got a prayer of saving us. It might make us feel better as we watch the total destruction of our habitat, but it isn’t going to save us.

    I think this, more than anything, is what we’re arguing over. There are those who seem to really believe that, because they WANT a different outcome, they will GET a different outcome. All I’m saying is, nope, sorry, please start accepting physical reality.

    After that acceptance, then we can talk all we want about HOW we want to die. I’m up for that discussion. I’m up for the discussion about how we live our lives every day with the knowledge that it’s over.

    Of course I’m angry, of course I rage. I’m watching the extinction of the freakin’ physical world! Look at Guy’s face, watch the video again of the feedback loops we’ve triggered….that is pain, that is acceptance of what is.

    Let’s start there, is all I’m saying.

    And please, I’m just about the last person in the world that wants to round people up and start exterminating them. Beginning with that sort of insult does you no credit. I reject the type of spirituality that you espouse. That does NOT make me a murderer, sir.

    Love is a verb. Love is action. I’ve seen yours and you’ve seen mine.

  • Wildwoman says, “mo flow, I’ve got no problem with the love gang urging us to be nice as civilization falls apart. I hope, yes, hope, that when it all falls apart, I am not one trying to eat my neighbor. I hope that when it all falls apart, I can go to sleep forever.”

    That’s exactly right. MO FO is a fool living in a fool’s paradise without any grounding in the real world.

    MO FO also says, “You want to save the world, I know you do! Then take a deep breath, take another, and say hello.”

    Wow are you utterly filled with BS. Your advice has no real world application, nor is it designed to make the world a better place. Instead, do something tangible. Raise money to buy and protect rainforest or volunteer your time with a nature conservancy organization, but stop the incessant bumping of your gums. You are all nonsense talk and no do, which is the worst kind of bullshit that exists.

  • Ripley says, “Gail Says: Are you a fucking moron Ripley? It’s NOT, oh, look, there’s A dead tree. It’s the TREND. It’s not a single dead bee, either. It’s the TREND of bee colony collapse. (Oh, I suppose I could add in fish and birds and badgers and bats and tigers). I can’t resist repeating: are you a fucking moron?”

    “I’ll leave it up to the blog. Doesn’t anyone think it’s worthwhile responding to such a person?”

    Yeah Ripley, you are definitely a fucking moron for the reasons I mentioned above (i.e. your inability to grasp long-term trends).

  • @ Friedrich Kling

    You are another one who is in denial.

    There is no way to ‘make this world a better place’ or to ‘save the planet’ or to ‘save the rain forests’, because if you had any ability to understand long-term trends you would know that we are killing the oceans, which mean that we get a Mass Extinction Event.

    The acidification which happened over thousands of years in previous such events now happens over decades. That’s just ONE of the factors that lead to extinction and dead oceans. There’s also Guy’s list of feedbacks.

    There’s also the fact that when the Poles warm, which happens much faster than the tropics, there in no longer a temperature gradient to keep the jet stream going, so the global climate system that we have known collapses, so all your forests die. Also the ocean currents stop, for the same reason, so the oceans become anoxic.

    There’s a long list of other stuff, like sea level rise, which takes away all the best agricultural land, whilst 2 billion more people are born, and something like 4 ft best case SLR is already unavoidable. But that’s enough to be getting on with.

    This is all well understood, quite straightforward and easy to understand, isn’t it ? It means that the future is impossible.

    You can, of course, respond to this situation, in whatever way you choose. Telling yourself and other people lies is probably the worst possible choice.

    Ocean acidification

  • Nobody is saying dismantle the toxic infrastructure of Industrial Civilization and murder 90% of the population so the chosen few rest of us can live in peace with Nature – but that is probably the plan TPTB have in store for us. And, I promise you, they will be rounding us up into slave camps to dismantle nuclear power plants.

    The question is: How long do we have before either the world erupts and we have widespread chaos or TPTB take control and round us up into slave camps?

    We are all waiting for the catastrophe that will “kick-off” the real unwinding of our civilization. When? When?

    Is it a surprise that the general population seems unaware that our way of life is coming to an end – one way or another?

  • @Ripley
    @mo flow
    @Kirk Hamilton
    @Annie

    Pleased to make your acquaintance. Thanks for your contributions to NBL.

    @Guy

    Another fine interview with Mike Ruppert. For the BAU/”there’s nothing that can be done crowd” why waste your time
    on this blog? As far as I can tell Guy hasn’t given up. Resistance is fertile.

    Split RT, Ball Curl on 1

    I see Tampa and Sarasota Florida are flooding this morning. With rising sea levels Florida is fast becoming an insurance write off. Nothing to see here folks. Move along. Move along.

  • “We cannot technology our way out of this because our technology needs oil and electricity. We cannot simplify our way out of this because there are temperatures that plants and humans cannot survive at and we are heading that way. And we won’t decommission the nuclear plants before the grid goes down.”

    And herein, IMO, lies Kathy’s genius. The ability to see and simplify such connections. But if you discount the first part of her post, which is religion, the jury is out whether transitional technologic measures can be deployed while there is still time–for the only thing stopping it is human will–to make a difference to these irreversible trends. For instance, the technology available TODAY could enable TPTB to decommission all nuclear plants. Though that could lead to social disruption and all sociopolitical hell breaking loose, the military establishment could maintain social stability in those conditions…if it chose.

    @ wildwoman

    “And please, I’m just about the last person in the world that wants to round people up and start exterminating them. Beginning with that sort of insult does you no credit. I reject the type of spirituality that you espouse. That does NOT make me a murderer, sir.”

    Since this is a hard-hitting site, you should try taking what you give, and stop whining. TIAA is stating HER reading of your behavior. She is not insulting you. You appear to be rather confused, and neither TIAA nor anyone else can help you with that.

  • Secret location in Kansas
    Who visits: Super-rich and paranoid
    Population: About 5,000

    Regular folk might not be able to survive a sharknado, but the super-rich sure can. If it does start drizzling great whites, some wealthy preppers will be bunkered in $3 million condos in an undisclosed spot in the middle of the country.

    Builder Larry Hall is putting up 11 units in a decommissioned missile silo that he said is bombproof. Though CNBC got to tour these luxe end-of-times bunkers, Hall asked that we not reveal their location for security reasons.

    Hall said the compound will come complete with a pharmacy, pet park, video game center and pool. There’s even a jail cell if one of the cooped-up, well-heeled residents needs a time-out.

    The renovation isn’t even finished, but Hall says all the units are sold out. So, if you want in, better jump on the waiting list for the No. 2 silo, which is in development.

  • @ Artleads

    And you are puzzled by the reception you receive here ?

    But if you discount the first part of her post, which is religion

    Kathy is more than capable of speaking for herself, but how do YOU arrive at that conclusion ? She is the last person here to base a case upon religion. The books she quotes have nothing to do with myth or faith, they are accounts that are based upon evidence and data and reasoned judgement and logic. Science. Not religion. I’d have thought by now you could distinguish the difference.

    the jury is out whether transitional technologic measures can be deployed while there is still time–

    Still time for WHAT ? The Arctic ice cap has already melted down, we already have climate chaos, we already have CO2 at 400ppm and much higher if you factor in the methane and nitrous oxide, and we are on the worst case trajectory… and there is the 40 year time lag, what we have now is the result of what we did 40 years ago, and emissions have risen ever since.

    for the only thing stopping it is human will–to make a difference to these irreversible trends.

    Which, if you had not yet noticed, DOES NOT EXIST. There are no plans, no treaties, no intentions by ANY of the major industrial nations, neither governments nor corporations, to cut emissions.

    For instance, the technology available TODAY could enable TPTB to decommission all nuclear plants.

    Stop dreaming. Worldwide, there are plans to build around 100 new ones.

    Look how well Fukushima decommissioning is going.

    Though that could lead to social disruption and all sociopolitical hell breaking loose, the military establishment could maintain social stability in those conditions…if it chose.

    The world is not just the USA. You seem totally clueless about the global balance of power and why the system is as it is. All your wishful thinking isn’t worth a can of beans.

    All it amounts to is saying IF we wanted we could colonise Mars and then everything would be fine. It’s fantasies.

    Nobody is going to take any notice of your daydreams, Artleads. Why do you think the USA refused to sign Kyoto and refused to allow any action re CO2 anytime since ? Why do you think there have been all these wars going on ? Why do you think they set up NSA ?

  • While it is obvious that Ulf is a sick,mentally ill, person / look around, he posts Everywhere he can, long boring and annoying – he must sit in front of the computer 24/7 to produce the volume that he does, probably sits there with giant bag of chips and 2 liter diet soda, picking his butt and rubbing his hands all over the place, disgusting.

    Anyway, tbe point is that it is long past time for any solutions, we get that, we dont need Ulf to school every Newbie that appears. If Artleads posts his silly stuff, lets juzt ignore him.

    The problem here folks is the structure of the blog, we know that, wehave to work with it as it is, I guess, so the distracting comments shoulx juzt be ignored and Ulf can be ignored as well.

  • Thank you @ogardener. Most of the time I just read the ‘organ grinder’ and his chosen guest articles (which I truly appreciate) but sometimes I come across your comments and they make me smile :-)

  • Ulvfugl – Thank you and I agree with all your points. :) There I used my whole second post of the day to thank you and agree with you. Surely the end of the world is close at hand.

  • Robot Wars! Oh, My!

    http://www.monbiot.com/2011/02/23/robot-wars/

    It may be an oldie but it’s a goodie too ;-)

  • Testing comment system.

  • @ wildwoman

    I’m up for the discussion about how we live our lives every day with the knowledge that it’s over.

    Best line on the thread. Hey, you’re supposed to be a middle brow ;-)

    @ Piddles

    So glad you’re finding and reading all of my stuff ! It’s nice to have devoted fans.
    Love you too, sweetie, kisskiss (keep working on the spelling, you’ll master it one day).

    @ Kathy C.

    Hahaha, yes, saved you some typing :-)

  • Here Artleads, fetch.

    http://www.countercurrents.org/cc240913A.htm

    Just more blah, blah, blah to heat the atmosphere.

  • I fear our “hockey stick” heat spike and runaway climate change is just beginning. Read this:

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2013/08/

  • I’d just like to expand on wildwoman’s plea to NBL’s wilfully ignorant wishful thinking alumni:

    As someone who is aware of peak oil, the limits to growth, population overshoot and dieoff and, lately, runaway climate change and near-term human extinction, I’m doing my best to carry on living at odds with a culture that I cannot help but see as completely and utterly and dangerously insane.

    Living like this is difficult and draining and extremely lonely. I come here to NBL from time to time to escape that loneliness for a while, to hear the thoughts of people who are coping with the same difficulties, to draw a little comfort and strength from their stories and perspectives, share a laugh, keep abreast of the latest information, etc. In this respect, as far as I know, NBL is one-of-a-kind. And the deniers and optimists are ruining it.

    Let’s face it, those here who don’t accept the premise of this blog (Near-term Human Extinction), are only hanging around here for three obvious reasons: either
    a) because they are trying to deny the truth by convincing others of the opposite,
    b) because they enjoy the attention their contrarian position brings them, or
    c) because they are pricks with nothing better to do.

    Please, can those of us who DO accept the underlying premise of Guy’s blog ignore the comments by those posters who clearly fit a, b or c above?

  • Afrizen,

    I second everything you say.

    The correct answer is: C.

  • Second and last post of the day…..

    I keep trying to communicate, probably past the point of good sense, because I don’t see the deniers as trolls. Perhaps the problem here is lack of context. The newbies haven’t necessarily done their homework, so they know nothing of the regulars here. I spent 6 or so months lurking and reading before getting the courage to post for the first time, and have been here for just over a year.

    Derrick Jensen, in Endgame, proposes a controlled power down along with what is considered draconian population control measures and his reasoning is as based in compassion as anything I’ve read. The idea is to prevent as much suffering as possible. So, if you knew anything about me at all, you’d have known that is where I’m coming from. IIRC, Endgame has a copyright of 2006.

    @ulvfugl…you remembered! Consider yourself kissed.

    @ogardener….love that wicked sense of humor of yours. Viva la Resistance!

    @annie…who is the organ grinder?

    @Afrizen…Yes. I promise, after this post, to refrain.

  • Oh, if only we could ignore them!

    Like idiots on the freeway that have to slow down to see the cars in a fender bender…

    Back to the “subject:” The worst part of becoming aware is realizing how trapped we are (those of us “in the system”). Some poster said some time ago that the only way to truly “walk away from empire” was to strip naked and wander into the woods (to quickly die of exposure, starvation, or poisoning). I dropped out – and now I am a refugee of industrial civilization. But I still suck at the teet of Industrial Civilization in small ways – but, I don’t own a home, no mortgage, no car, no car payment, no credit cards. Most of all – I don’t pay taxes – so, I don’t contribute to the war machine or to the oppression machine. I have no future – no health care, no 401k, no nothing. And, I don’t care.

    Now, this is extremely liberating – I’m free to just sit around and do nothing all day – just waiting to die basically – but also waiting to see the govt buildings burn and the politicians hang. Some say we won’t see it – the USA is too powerful and will hold onto power long into the unfolding crisis. My hope is the crisis overwhelms TPTB due to it being fast-paced, widespread, and on a grand scale. I’m hoping for the worst so that the power structures will collapse.

    These well-meaning people that recognize that 16% of the world’s population use 80% of the world’s resources and, therefore, try to conserve, reuse, recycle – while running their washing machines and driving their cars – are the biggest fools. Even before I became aware, I knew that the whole thing was a waste of time – if you live in the USA, your taxes are supporting the US military – the biggest resource user on the planet – and they use those resources in your name. Those deformed babies in Fallujah due to US military’s use of depleted uranium are because of the taxes we paid.

    Yes, the hardest part of becoming aware is realizing that 1) I am trapped, can’t escape; and 2) I am guilty.

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

  • Lidia, you have my deepest sympathy and admiration, the situation you describe would render lesser mortals incapable of your continuing solicitude towards your mother. Also, just to say…you expressed my biggest problem. The very thing that was always my most important source of peace and joy and comfort – the marvels of Nature – is visibly falling apart. NTE would be much easier for me to deal with if it weren’t becoming more obvious every day that we’re bringing almost every other species with us.

    Afrizen, sometimes it’s hard to know if someone is a troll or just feeling deranged with grief. So although I agree with your prescription, I’m not sure how it could work in any practical way?

  • JAPAN – Japan became nuclear power-free for the first time in 14 months Sunday night, when the No. 4 reactor of the Oi nuclear power plant in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, went offline for regular maintenance.

    Among 50 reactors in the country, the Oi reactor had been the only one in operation in the country.

    On 30 May 2011, Germany formally announced plans to abandon nuclear energy completely within 11 years. The plan included the immediate permanent closure of six nuclear power plants that had been temporarily shut down for testing in March 2011, and two more that have been offline a few years with technical problems. The remaining nine plants will be shut down between now and 2022.

    Swiss to shut down nuclear power plants by 2034

    Published 30 September 2011
    1 comment
    Tags
    Fukushima, nuclear power, phase out, Switzerland

    In a move that echoes German measures following the Fukushima disaster, the Swiss Parliament has approved plans to phase out nuclear power plants by 2034.

    The Swiss Senate’s endorsement yesterday (28 September) follows a June vote by the lower chamber to back the gradual shutdown of nuclear energy plants recommended in May by the government, which has frozen plans for a new construction programme in the wake of the Fukushima atomic plant explosion.

    Switzerland is following in Germany’s footsteps, which decided in May that it will shut all its nuclear reactors by 2022.

    Sorry no links. You’ll have to do a search for the above.
    It’s a start. Too little too late? Who knows? Last post of the day for moi. After a while crocodiles.

  • Dear Mo Flo, it is a spectacular honor to hear you weaving your way home to your heart, as we all are in our own way. I get you in an indescribable etherical melody kind of a way. This forum needs you and all that are here.

    Thanks for having my back Artleads, I was feeling like I was in a virtual Auschwitz for a disorienting moment there based on the rigid hostilities I felt were fomenting here. Thankfully Wildwoman, brought be back to reality.

    Dear Wildwoman, glad to hear that given the power you would not exterminate or round up non-believers to bid your dictate. Puts a stop check on all options when one considers choices one would make from that vantage of power. I had you all wrong, thankfully, sorry for that.

    As Guy advises, and I agree, we should still try and render all we are able in love and kindness, damned if you do, as we watch the ransom of the living planet for a few dollars more. I want to help stop that process but so far my open hands do nothing but remain open. So I wait.

    Meanwhile, the idea that this is a haven for some special group to escape from the big bad world of truly bad people, the dreamers, the lovers and the wishers? Now that is interesting. Or that some here know the one true purpose of this site is allegiance to NTE? If you can’t find value in others input, does that reflect more on you or them?

    I am here because this is an open forum facing hard human truths and hosted by exemplary leadership. I do not think to long on emotional outbursts of any sort by others or myself. So I think we all belong here if we chose and should see ourselves as allies. I see all here as allies and value all input as part of an education to unlikely survival and likely extinction awareness.

  • I remember a time when I had an immense (REALLY) moment of joy before opening my eyes in the morning. Now, not so much. It is undescribably more chaotic every day around here. The trees are about to fall. They are completely rotten from the inside. The world without trees will be very different. Soon. Catharsis. I wish I would look forward to it. But I am a little weary.

  • islandraider

    You wrote:

    “Plenty of bells tolling. What is unfolding in the Middle East on a daily basis (with Japan & Europe not far behind) is a view into our deteriorating present. Resource depletion, climate chaos, increasing repression (at home & abroad), more and more people hungry & desperate, the species that support the web of life dying at an unprecedented rate. When the ecosystem collapses and the water dries up, you move or starve. Few will go quietly into that “gentle” night…..

    Climate chaos (complete with an increasing number of irreversible positive feedbacks) + dramatic decline in potable water worldwide + the end of cheap energy + a ponzi scheme economy based on the desperate actions of sociopaths who think that are the ones that will magically make it through some mystical bottleneck (I believe they are intelligent enough to see that what is coming is going to be bad) = our current predicament: standing on the beach watching in awe at the approaching tsunami. Powerless to stop it. Not really sure I am at all interested in helping the blind to see it. They will know soon enough. They will react poorly.”

    A powerfully succinct summation IMV, and the Bells are almost in harmony in their collaborative timing from our collective survival’s POV.

    I share your view on this, and after having investigated,(web, books, including Guy’s work, letters to institutional heads etc.) I concluded that as close to NTE is where we are rapidly heading. I also feel it is no use either over-prepping for death,(deciding what to pack must be hell!), nor giving up this beat-bag vehicle prematurely – where there is a pulse there is life- so I have come to a (futile in the long run) course of action.
    Engage with and help build local resilient communities in which one lives. Yes, doing all the eco schtick stuff, but all the time renewing and affirming human relations, and getting to know the neighbours-what I call renewing the gift community, which runs alongside the alienated-property-market-driven-crazy-relocation-program that is the norm. The town I live in is at the top of a big hill, (Blue Mountains) and it is as good as anywhere, better in fact because of certain sociological and geographic feature, but I feel many places could be in better overall condition to take the hits as they ramp up.
    Not saying there is any guarantees on anyone surviving, but IMV, if there is even the smallest chance some places remain close to habitable, a strong, flowing resilient community, or as Guy puts it, ‘decent human community’, is still the best chance anyone has. Don’t know how that translates to the other lifeforms, but it is a start – or an end.
    Here in Afradia, we are just now about to get the hard economic hits both N America and Europe have been experiencing since 2008. As is predictable, a small and powerless chunk of the demographic will be the scapegoats for the ‘downturn’, or ‘economic restructuring’.
    Best of good fortune to you and all others.
    Lets keep meeting here on the beach of far sightedness, or the beach of doom, whatever, and just have a chat, a beer or a coconut juice and watch the unfolding.

    Kathy Cassandra

    Please keep coming to the beach of something or other here. You and all the other beachcombers here have added to a body of opinion and documentation that is I dare say now an archive of what a desperate group of concerned-about-the-planet people, (caveat – who have access to the infrastructure to comment on the web), but also in the main are aware of how varied is human character, adaptation and action, that we have such little chance of unified response to the big issues – and that is worth something to me, and I hope others.

    Relentless reasoning is all we may have to help others listen, if for no other purpose but to help them see this beach is beautiful, and to let it deeply sink in is all it takes for a change of heart on celebrating life and this world/realm rather than blindly eat it up and become sick in the process.

    Keep clucking ol’ gel’.

    All and sundry

    Seems like some have gone to hen pecking others. Time to push the chicken wire back a bit and get out and forage in the sun and rain. Pecking others is not going to bring a happy brood, it just brings distraction and hurt feelings.

    Cluck!!

    Guy

    best wishes for your latest lecture and talking tour.

    Some recent developments…

    Climate Change Commission sacked by TA and the Gov’t of Afradia…

    and now….a defiant response…..

    ‘Professor Flannery launches independent Climate Council’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHbpqFaq2No

    Go Tim!!!!

  • OzMan says: Seems like some have gone to hen pecking others.

    Stuck Inside Of NBL With Consensus Blues Again

    Studying since I don’t know when,
    Versus little or no doomer ken;
    Mama, is this the end:
    Stuck forced to contend
    With consensus blues again.

  • Thanks Heretic and Pilot for the great new links. Much appreciated.

    I’ve been wondering how I was going to heat my coffee after the power goes out. So, I got busy and found this little jewel: http://www.allseasonsolarcooker.info/ Not just coffee, but hot chocolate, Ramen Noodles and the occasional pot of road-kill stew. I hate feeling completely helpless and I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this little solar cooker!

  • And for you folks out there who believe one must be either filthy rich or a capitalist running dog or both, to spring 50 bucks for a solar oven, here’s one for $5! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnynux2eGbY

    I remember a story told me by an old carpenter friend who had been in the Korean War. One night, trapped outside in a blizzard the entire platoon was freezing to death. A few soldiers had already died of exposure. They finally decided to take the hand crank power generator out of the radio and wire a metal button to it. They melted snow in a cup and shared the hot water all night. It kept them alive. Cool story.

  • Oh mama, can this really be the end?

    (a better version than the composer, IMHO)

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #51

    Two russet piñons
    stand dead. A broken frame for
    the last green holdout.

  • ‘But Peak Oil came too late to save us. It appears humanity will be restricted to a few thousand hardy scavengers living near the poles within a century or two. Shortly thereafter, Homo sapiens will join, in extinction, every other species to occupy the planet. Recent projections indicate that, by century’s end, there will be no planetary ice’

    recognize these words, guy? u should. they’re from your blog entry dated aug. 29, 2007 and a keynote address u gave to a conference of arizona students earlier that month. i bring them up to highlight the last sentence with a few observations:

    i suspect the ‘recent projections’ u were referring to then was actually in regard to scientific reports that the last time the planet was 3c warmer than now the poles had been ice free. and of course 3c was well within the range of projected warming this century, so u jumped to the conclusion that therefore, it had been projected that earth would be ice free by 2100. of course, in doing so, u revealed ignorance of just how much ice there is on greenland and antarctica, and how long it is projected to take to melt all of it, enough to raise sea levels by over 70 meters! so yeah, the planet is likely to be 3c warmer well before 2100, but it’s still likely to take over 1,000 years to melt all that ice, if hansen’s right in saying that during past rapid warming events, sea level rise has clocked in at a max of about 5 meters/century. at any rate, u should have been aware that projected sea level rise was a hell of a lot less than 70 meters by any estimate. i think high end estimates back then went to one meter rise by 2100. anyhow, that statement in my eyes was another enormous revealing gaffe from one who wishes to be highly regarded as a scientist.

    i have a gaffe of my own to confess. not knowing how otherwise to contact scribbler (i wanted to verify your claim about scribbler having revised the relevant article about wet bulb temps. in china recently), i wrote a comment to his blog, asking about it. afterward, it occurred to me i should have asked to not publish the comment and to reply to it privately by email, so as not to reveal my doubts about u publically (any more than i already have, that is), and more importantly, because it isn’t my intention to try to take u down a notch in public esteem. i’m sorry about that. i’m afraid i’m quite prone to such gaffes.

    anyway, after a 3 day delay (fatigued, scribbler had taken a short break from blogging, just got back), scribbler published my comment and responded that, no, he hadn’t revised the article, and reaffirmed that nowhere in it had he made the claim u claim he did. (sigh)

    are u consciously lying to try to save face? (imo, most sheeple do this, some quite often). or is this an instance in which u simply and sincerely (if most perplexingly) completely misinterpreted scribbler, and later fooled/convinced yourself that he had indeed written what u claimed, and must have changed it? either way there’s deception (in the latter case, u are deceiving yourself, which, again, imo is a rather common human foible.)

    i guess i care because i want u (and nbl) to be taken seriously as one who not only pulls no punches, but is also rock solid scientifically. so, what i anticipate doing is to continue to point out/comment upon your public mistaken claims, at my own discretion. i think somebody should (i think it’s most remarkable that the gaffe i brought up at the beginning of this post, that one from 6 years ago, was either never noticed or never pointed out previously, to my knowledge). a surreal scientist appreciates and welcomes correction. are u a surreal scientist? if u are, hopefully u are learning already a need to be more careful, more scrupulous about citing and interpreting facts ( if u ever want a second opinion/confirmation about any particular interpretation, feel free to consult me).

    p.s. i composed this originally with the intent to keep it private via email, but i’ve just decided to fuck it, go ahead and post it on nbl, let it all hang out, come what may. what the hell, what’s a little personal squabble/humiliation (maybe yours, maybe mine, maybe both of ours) in the face of teotwawki? i may be harsh, but i ain’t shit compared to mother nature.

  • Guy McPherson talks about a moral imperative. Does he know that they are people on his blog who violated his own rules to say this:

    Gail Says:
    September 22nd, 2013 at 7:06 pm
    Are you a fucking moron Ripley? It’s NOT, oh, look, there’s A dead tree. It’s the TREND. It’s not a single dead bee, either. It’s the TREND of bee colony collapse. (Oh, I suppose I could add in fish and birds and badgers and bats and tigers).
    I can’t resist repeating, since I’m already violating the sanctity of the two-post rule, which I deeply respect:
    are you a fucking moron?

    Gail Says:
    September 22nd, 2013 at 6:17 pm
    AND by the way, I personally think the hysteria about Fukushima, although well-warranted for people in that vicinity or a direct path of a radioactive plume, the global threat is negligible…at least, compared to other dangers which are far worse (like, um, overpopulation).
    I guess, it makes everyone feel happier to deflect the notion that we have collectively, as a species, inevitably wrecked our lives by our universal, dominant urge to grow – because it’s so much more comfortable to blame Tepco, or Exxon, or anyone other than everyone, all of us, who consume and consume trees and oil and everything else Earth has to offer

    Friedrich Kling Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Yeah Ripley, you are definitely a fucking moron for the reasons I mentioned above (i.e. your inability to grasp long-term trends).

    ogardener Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 6:54 am
    @Ripley
    @mo flow
    @Kirk Hamilton
    @Annie
    Pleased to make your acquaintance. Thanks for your contributions to NBL.

    Thanks ogardener, that’s very kind. But I really don’t think it’s right for us post stuff and take up space that could be used by the two great geniuses above. Let’s leave more space for people who like to excuse corporate criminals, and say that Fukushima was your fault. The blog has spoken.

  • NBL is one-of-a-kind. And the deniers and optimists are ruining it.

    Au contraire, they are the satire & comedy section for Nature’s Best Laugh. Appreciate the work they do. Like the court jesters of medieval times.

    ignore the comments by those posters

    Don’t. Enjoy the ludicrousness! Print food! Of here’s an idea: since plants use ordure+water+minerals+sunlight+carbon dioxide to produce food, let’s mix s**t, carbonated water, powdered rock, set it out in the sunshine to see and see Wie geht’s?

    The newbies haven’t necessarily done their homework,

    Homework or no homework, Nature Bites Last. While the ignoramuses are spared much angst, they also miss out on the last chance to act to minimise suffering (tvt’s sage suggestion) – which again is altogether pointless as Kathy Cassandra might point out.

    I spent 6 or so months lurking and reading before getting the courage to post for the first time, and have been here for just over a year.

    No courage needed, just an aliquot of good sense, rashness, bluster, or idiocy. Take yer pick.

    waiting to see the govt buildings burn and the politicians hang.

    Our baggage defines us. But only so long as one sees the baggage as the self. Any freedom while still clinging is illusory. Let go or be dragged with the meat-robot called the body-mind complex. The only freedom is “no baggage = no self”.

    Truly amazing how tenaciously we (=including I) cling to “our” baggage!

    Yes, the hardest part of becoming aware is realizing that 1) I am trapped, can’t escape; and 2) I am guilty.

    That’s SSDD. (Same S**t, Different Date). Needs a hard look at what that “I” is. And isn’t.

  • @ Artleads, @ mo flow
    Somehow I didn’t get your posts yet when I only included Lidia in my response, which was posted, sequentially anyway, after yours… don’t know how that happened, but of course… THANKS…!!! You have become good friends of parallel and deeper comprehension of reality than many of my ‘regular’ associates can begin to imagine.

    ~~~

    I walked around barefoot today. Not on pavement, out in a rural area. I could not recall the last time I did that, had that grounding-energizing connection. It felt like I time traveled and was a kid again. A how-do-you-do reacquaintance with my own planet. The grass was damp and soft and mother earth yielded with every step, embracing my feet, affectionate to my existence. I thought to myself, right, this is the affirmation that a human needs, the way a human is supposed to feel. Highly recommended. Break out of those foot jails! Take off your shoes… and go for a walk. Invite some other humans to do it too. Sometimes big changes are initiated by small tweaks.

    Caution: In some places, especially parks & playgrounds and various grassy knolls under the jurisdiction of neighborhood (watch) associations, strolling around barefoot… is illegal. I think it is safe to assume that Thoreau would simply break such laws. Freedom of the feet… is an inalienable human right! Unless it isn’t. Enjoy.

  • This is for the fools who continue hanging on to the hope that The Powers That Be are on the verge of taking corrective action which will prevent mass extinction or at least manage it carefully. They don’t understand the meaning of the word “limits.” It goes against their social DNA, as their system requires infinite growth just to exist.

    http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/890/1/
    Denial of Nature’s Limits is the Problem, Aaron G. Lehmer-Chang, 9/23/13.

    This month, The New York Times published a fantastical piece on human exceptionalism entitled “Overpopulation Is Not The Problem,” in which author Erle C. Ellis claimed that human societies have no limits to their growth. That’s right — limits are merely an illusion. Expansion über alles! That’s our species’ birthright, and rightful destiny
    “There really is no such thing as a human carrying capacity,” writes Ellis, castigating those of us concerned with ecological limits as believers that humans are little different than “bacteria in a petri dish.” Perhaps even more outlandishly, Ellis goes on to state that “[t]he idea that humans must live within the natural environmental limits of our planet denies the realities of our entire history, and most likely the future.” Who’s[Whose] history exactly?
    As an associate professor of geography and environmental systems at the University of Maryland, Ellis should know better. Unless he steered clear of the stacks of thoughtful volumes available to him on the rise and fall of past civilizations, he would surely have encountered chronicle after chronicle of societies that faced progressively daunting ecological challenges, and which plummeted in population as a result……
    In fairness to Ellis, he rightly points out that humans are “niche creators,” beings who have an impressive history of transforming ecosystems to sustain ourselves and often to facilitate our very survival. This recognition, however, does not magically exempt us from ecological processes, pressures, and limits. It simply means we must utilize our “niche creation” skills in ways that allow our planet’s life-support systems to persevere.
    Unfortunately, many of our world’s vital ecosystems are already on the brink of collapse. Despite incredible leaps in resource-use efficiency, ecological understanding, and technological know-how, our planet’s forests and sensitive habitats are being devastated far faster than they’re regenerating, arable lands are turning into deserts and soils are being mined of their critical nutrients, our oceans are being overfished and polluted with more toxins than can safely be absorbed, our freshwater aquifers and waterways are being depleted at rates several times faster than they’re being replenished, and our atmosphere is being flooded with so much carbon that our global climate is warming to extreme degrees. Moreover, the fossil fuels we rely on for transportation, agriculture, housing, manufacturing, and so much more are becoming harder and harder to find and extract, posing severe challenges to the very foundation of industrial civilization.
    All of these realities will pose severe constraints on economic activity, which in turn, will limit human numbers. Just because we’ve overcome ecological constraints in the past, expanding from smaller niches to ever-larger ones, doesn’t mean we can therefore transcend our entire planet’s very real ecological boundaries.

  • The reason we should ignore the contrarians is because they are either trying to debate something that is not debatable, or trying to debate something that is not worth debating (at least from my perspective). To me it’s irrelevant if 1 person or even 1 billion get through the bottleneck. In fact I’d pity those unfortunate enough to survive such an ordeal and continue suffering on a wrecked earth and thus perpetuate our species’ sentient participation in what is, considered honestly and objectively, a pointless, drawn-out inter- and intra-species game of mortal combat, a game whose rules we have temporarily been able to bend to our favour (for the small price of a planet and its biodiversity).

    What is important to me is that this blog has attracted a group of people who are smart and honest and brave enough to face up to the causes and consequences of the devastating shit storm that is brewing and breaking. We are living with a psychological/spritual burden the magnitude of which has no precedent, and no guidelines for coping, and yet here it is being discussed – priceless.

    From this perspective, NBL’s Polyannas are the equivalent of bratty children starting a food fight at the grownups’ table: they are interrupting the discussion of issues that they don’t fully understand.

    I propose copying and pasting the following stock responses, or something along these lines:

    For the obvious trolls and serial Polyannas: “@ ….. : go outside and play”

    For newbies posting newbie claims and questions: “@ ….. : please familiarise yourself with concepts such as “limits to growth”, “energy returned on energy invested”, “tragedy of the commons”, “peak everything”, “population overshoot and die-off”, “bias against self-knowledge”, “anthropogenic runaway climate change”, “positive feedback loops” [and/or whatever I’ve overlooked] and, most importantly, read slowly and carefully Guy’s “climate change and summary update” and then reconsider your post in light of what you’ve learned.”

    Right, it’s a lovely day, I think I’ll go outside and play.

  • they are interrupting the discussion of issues that they don’t fully understand.

    Interrupting only those who have an intellectual (monkey-brain chauffeur) acquaintance with it. The lizard-brain master’s response can threaten to overwhelm the chauffeur. They are responding not so much to the “newbies” and “deniers” as to their own lizard-brains. No such problem to those who have grokked it.

  • @ Curtis A. Heretic

    Thanks for the link, Curtis. Yes, it’s noise and hot air, but (IMO) useful noise and hot air.

    @ Christy

    Thanks for taking the time and the thought in your responses. I don’t take kindly to attack, and imagine nobody does. I like it when people agree with me, and dislike it when they don’t. (How to treat those two imposters just the same…) Some people are so good at and comfortable with attack, with getting the better of any and every fight, that I can feel myself reverting to the blind rage I experienced in high school, being relentlessly picked on and teased. But I can also remember two occasions when I bullied smaller boys. So we’re caught in a horrible web of aggression and repression, and it is hellishly difficult to get out.

    But something has made me angry and frustrated just now. So deep breath. let’s start again. Most people, nearly all, are not looking for a fight. They are stating what they believe, but not looking to put down anyone. We might say very hurtful things without meaning to “show” anybody how dominant we are. Fascist behavior is endemic in our culture and is implicit in all the more or less subtle ways we exert superior status.

    In my mind, what you have introduced is of extraordinary importance for this blog. As with so many good things, it may come to naught. But I am willing to listen to what you have to say, and willing to try to reign in the worst aspects of my behavior.

    Thanks for asking whether I want to sway others to my beliefs. Hadn’t thought of it. I was merely trying to figure them out clearly for myself. It’s more as if I’ve tried to minimize offensiveness over the past couple months, only to discover that I’m hiding myself from myself. So this more outspoken Artleads has elicited some alarm.

    The issue is whether or how to promote pluralism of ideas on NBL. In one (cynical?) sense, it benefits my position that the planet (in some weird way–like a hideously depleted and difficult physical place with an evolved race of survivors–that there are others who are totally convinced and convincing about irrevocable and irredeemable NTE. For there might be no better way to bring the crisis to public attention and elicit the kind of change that survival of any kind would require.

    I have tried to encourage some sort of coming together by latching on to attempts to rigorously look at how the society is actually functioning, as well as how to discourage cruel, vicious mayhem from thoughtless and disorderly unravellings. A significant number of posters seem inclined to help keep at bay he worst possibilities of collapse, whether or not they believe any life can survive. Time will tell whether or not this will go anywhere.

    So I’d like to restrain any impulse I might have to convert anybody. I believe most people here are of good conscious and will do the best they can in turn.

    Best wishes.

  • Afrizen,

    One could spend a lot of effort on stock responses.

    I take a slightly different approach. I scroll through, checking the poster name and skip the noise makers, read the few with something new or useful (IMO) to say, and then I go outside to play!

  • @ the virgin terry

    ..because it isn’t my intention to try to take u down a notch in public esteem. i’m sorry about that. i’m afraid i’m quite prone to such gaffes…

    The way I see it, your intention is to try and raise your own miserable view of yourself, and I don’t think you’re going to do that by biting the foot of someone of greater stature than yourself. You could try writing in a conventional manner, with normal capitals at the start of sentences, etc, so people could actually read and understand what you’re trying to say.

    You appear to be intent upon damaging Guy’s image and reputation. You’ve done this before. I wonder what you think will result from your attempts to smear Guy ?

    Have you actually researched the claim that it will take thousands of years for the Antarctic and Greenland ice to melt ? As I understand it, some people question that orthodoxy.

    Robin Datta proclaimed you to be one of the Enlightened, a veritable Messiah in waiting, but I see you here playing the role of Judas Iscariot, the sneaky cowardly betrayer..

    @ Jeff S.

    The way I see that sort of stuff, we are in a psyops propaganda war, to manipulate the masses. The academic shills will churn out garbage for their masters.

    @ Ripley

    I expect Guy would find it very difficult to grade the degrees of fuckingness and moronicity that occur here if he bothered, I doubt he loses sleep over it, he’s got other things to concern himself with.

    I usually pay attention to what you have to say. I expect Gail had been eating too much meat. That would be logspirit’s diagnosis, anyway.

    @ michele

    Before I open my eyes, I make sure I have spread my chi to every part, and then I illuminate it, so I am infinite lightness, then I re-enter this place..once again. My dog is here to greet me, that is good.

  • I am actually perplexed Ripley as to how you can interpret anything I say as excusing corporate criminals. Maybe you don’t know that I was convicted after an arrest at a planned action during Occupy even though I went to court over and over for almost a year…and I pissed David Koch off so much that in an interview with the Weekly Standard he called me “very, very extreme and very dangerous”? (Yay! I was on the teevee for one second! https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2011/03/koch-kills-on-ed-show.html)

    However singling out particularly evil individuals, although important (and often enjoyable), isn’t sufficient to explain how we got where we are – here, on the beach of doom. The only reason there is a consumer society is that people want to consume, unless you believe that people are so stupid that they buy boatloads of useless junk, because they are brainwashed. In which case you have a very low opinion of humanity.

    There wouldn’t be any coal or oil business if people didn’t want to burn their products, if they didn’t want access to cheap energy and if they didn’t want to keep reproducing, thus requiring ever more wild lands to be destroyed for industrial agriculture. This desire is nearly universal. Eskimos want snowmobiles, not dog sleds these days. Ecuador wants the rich nations to pay them to leave their oil in the ground and not destroy their rain forest. How weird is that?

    It’s almost impossible to get away from the prevailing delusion that there are “good” people who are living sustainably and “bad” people who are making us drive cars and fly on airplanes. I think this is based on the nonsensical illusion that it’s possible to have modern lifestyles without burning coal and oil, and a lack of appreciation for how dependent we are on industrial civilization.

    For instance, bicycles are made from the products mined and manufactured and transported by fossil fuels. There is no way to have a bicycle without that infrastructure. So even though it obviously has less impact than a car, it’s no more “sustainable”. And yet people endlessly posture over how they are better because they reduce their impact on the environment.

    I’m all for that if people want to do it, it’s the pretense that it will make a substantive difference that becomes tedious to me. Recycling is a great example, it turns out that all that plastic is going into landfill because China will no longer take it (and how green was it to ship it to China anyway?).

    So if recycling gives people the false sense that they’re being virtuous, it’s almost worst to promote it, because what really should be advocated is drastic reduction in the use of plasic. Like much toxic radiation, it never goes away. Of course, recycling was always something industry wanted, because it supplanted reusing glass (remember when you got money to return bottles?). But that’s another story.

  • Okay, Ulf., I’m about to leave for Devon, where first daughter is competing four horses this week. I’ll stay in West Grove with middle daughter, who made reservations for dinner in Philly tonight, cause it’s restaurant week. What do you think I should choose? Make sure it has lots of meat, ha!

    http://philadelphia.tintorestaurant.com/m/menu-pdfs/PA_Tinto_RestaurantWeek.pdf

  • @ Gail

    Down to me ? I’d make the daughters and the horses into pemmican, surely be enough to last me for the rest of my life.

    I’d keep you to have someone to argue with, and when I’d won all the arguments, which would not take me very long, you’d be pemmican too.

    Bit like Scheherazade, you’d have to keep thinking hard to stay alive another day. Kollapsnik was easy, I’m like this guy but my beard touches my belt.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/best-google-streetview-ever.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pemmican

    Enjoy yourself. While you can. ;-)

  • Guy’s second clip says the world could be saved through the immediate collapse of IC. But then, that the immediate collapse of IC sets off nuclear meltdown.

    I tend to skip over all the putative reasons for this and get to what appears a vacuous daydream of a supposition. Which is that the nuclear facilities don’t have to melt down. There is no overwhelming physical reason why they can’t be immediately decommissioned, as it seems is being done in Germany and perhaps elsewhere.

    For me all along, the main problem is not science or technology, but human values.

    I focus on America, for that appears to be the center and heart of global collapse. For instance, America already occupies close to 40 countries in Africa, while having hundreds of bases elsewhere in the world. That is some kind of global reach.

    While nothing in the recent past suggests that TPTB would come to their senses and, say, decommission nuclear plants, it isn’t hopelessly unreasonably to believe that they can grow to see that if they don’t the danger to them and their offspring will be insurmountable. I like to think that we’re suddenly in an age where there are no good guys and no bad guys; we’re all in this together.

    I have no program to change the world, nor have an action plan. I’ve seen action plans come and go, and still here we are at the yawning mouth of NTE. Scientists, bless them, have not been able to prevent this calamity, and although some say this is beyond science and only attributable to a grand genetically determined plan, I do not believe them.

    Science has not prevailed against NTE. It is not a value system. Action has not prevailed against NTE, although I’m sure it helps in countless ways. So my preference is imagination, fantasy, thought and INaction. Why the outcry? What has proven more effective? (I believe in what I say, for I have seen results flow from my way of being.)

    Clearly, I’m in no position to prove that doom is not inevitable. And if people gain reassurance and comfort by believing that it is, can one not offend them while holding contrary views?

    Thanks to Guy and all posters here for the grand educational forum that is NBL.

  • With apologies for my delayed response, I must admit it: You caught me, the virgin terry. I’m a shill.

    I’ve been making up information and spreading propaganda based on irrelevant data from non-scientific sources. Now that I’ve been discovered, you can stop reading here. And I can go collect my paycheck from the Koch brothers. After all, the only way I could afford to leave my cushy university position was to take a higher-paying job with the serious job-creators.

  • I think most of us realize that most of us are not able to read all the comments everyday or even catch up on all of them once in a while – so some of the context of the comments gets lost and we don’t seem to know what we are talking about. That’s why I think it’s great that Guy posts anew every 3 days – keeps us fresh on whatever topic.

    Invariably, all the threads turn into just a couple of posters going on and on and on – rambling, rambling, rambling, until it’s just one poster and he never quits until Guy turns off the comments for that particular thread.

    The point of NBL seems to be to disseminate information. However, some of the articles posted are not really information – but reflections on the information. The comments are really unnecessary – but they allow additional information to be disseminated without Guy having to be a gatekeeper and they also allow the audience to make public their own reflections. So, it is what it is.

    Every year that passes we lose some of the dedicated posters and we gain some new dedicated posters.

    Whatever happened to Jerry Scovel, Cindy Salo, Lori Crouch, Frank Mezek, Bill Fugagli, Stan Moore, Jason Rivera, etc?

    Someone asked why Guy says that the Mud Hut was a big failure – I don’t know – maybe he will post anew and tell us.

    At Artleads: Doom is inevitable – because living in Industrial Civilization makes doom inevitable. You think you can change the world? Join the Resistance? Strip off your clothes and wander into the wilderness? Save the whales? Live organic? Reduce, recycle, reuse?

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2007/02/03/the-withering-of-the-american-environmental-movement/

    boy: There’s a storm coming.

    Sarah: I know.

  • @ Curtis, I guess you’re right, like all things in life, gotta sift through the sand for the nuggets. The grasping at straws has become an issue with me of late, I guess because I’ve already spent so much time, effort and emotion moving from denial to acceptance, and it just seems like a waste of everyone’s time and energy to be wading through it all again and again, especially on NBL.

    @ Gail, having given it some more thought, I suppose patience is the kindest attitude to bring to those new to a concept as mind-blowing as near-term human extinction. Also, considering how much pleasure some posters obviously get out of putting the boot in, I suppose a strategy of stock responses won’t be universally embraced. Regarding which:

    @ Robin, for all your psycho-spiritual contributions, your smug tone and point-scoring sophistry stick out like a dog’s balls. You’re in good company here, this site is full of egotistical a-holes (me included); why not lose the robes, come down the mountain, grab a pitchfork and join the merry brigade out in the open?

  • Troglodytae Semper Nobiscum

    Now, wherever you go is doom,
    But folks who are learning slow presume
    They can subpoena
    Deus ex machina:
    Troglodytae semper nobiscum.

  • someone says to michele who shares about her profound sadness when she sees the tree brushing her bedroom window every morning: “Before I open my eyes, I make sure I have spread my chi to every part, and then I illuminate it, so I am infinite lightness, then I re-enter this place..once again. My dog is here to greet me, that is good.”

    You are so good, so much better than me, really, so good. The best! I will never come close to this level of wisdom and mastery. I do not have a dog.

  • Hey look! “Capitalism” is about to hit the wall!

    http://news.yahoo.com/us-borrowing-authority-exhausted-oct-17-151054701–finance.html

    US borrowing authority to be exhausted by Oct. 17

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Wednesday the government will have exhausted its borrowing authority by Oct. 17, leaving the United States just $30 billion cash on hand to pay its bills.

    That’s a slightly worse financial position than Treasury predicted last month and adds to the pressure on Congress to increase the government’s borrowing cap soon to avert a first-ever U.S. default on its obligations.

    In a letter to top congressional leaders, Lew warned that a repeat of the debt brinksmanship of 2011 could inflict great harm on the economy and that “if the government should ultimately become unable to pay all of its bills, the results could be catastrophic.”

    The government reached its $16.7 trillion debt limit in May. Since then, it has been using “extraordinary measures” such as suspending U.S. investments in federal employee trust funds to create about $300 billion in additional borrowing room.

    But on the 17th the government will be left with only its cash cushion and daily receipts to pay its bills. Lew warned that before long it would not be able to meet all of its obligations. Economists and financial market experts warn that the stock market could plummet and that investors would demand higher returns on Treasury notes, which could raise interest rates and harm the economy.

    It’s generally assumed that Treasury would make sure that the government wouldn’t default on Treasury notes held by investors, including foreign countries like China, If it did default on such debt obligations it could be a catastrophe for the economy.

    A House-passed stopgap spending measure pending before the Senate contains a GOP-backed provision that would give Social Security recipients and bondholders priority in receiving payments from the government.

    Lew again rejected the idea.

    “The United States should never have to choose, for example, whether to pay Social Security to seniors, pay benefits to our veterans, or make payments to state and local jurisdictions and health care providers under Medicare and Medicaid,” Mr. Lew said. “There is no way of knowing the damage any prioritization plan would have on our economy and financial markets. It would represent an irresponsible retreat from a core American value: We are a nation that honors all of its commitments.”

    Lew again warned that President Barack Obama would not negotiate with Republicans over the debt limit.

    “The president remains willing to negotiate over the future direction of fiscal policy, but he will not negotiate over whether the United States will pay its bills for past commitments,” Lew wrote. Extending borrowing authority does not increase government spending; it simply allows the Treasury to pay for expenditures Congress has already approved.”

    Republicans want to add budget cuts and other legislation like a one-year delay of “Obamacare.” House leaders hope to bring a debt limit increase to the floor by the end of this week but they haven’t released any details yet.

    cue Leonard Cohen: Everybody knows

  • Tom – “leaving the United States just $30 billion cash on hand to pay its bills.”

    oh dear. this isn’t even a dime to open a toilet stall.

    wondering when and how the US financial system will implode is one of the more amazing galactic events to ponder. i imagine there might have been scientifically advanced civilizations out there that have had the unique pleasure of living too close to a star that they saw was about to go supernova. living this close to the end of the American Debt Dream feels sorta the same to me.

    ulvfugl, from previous now defunct thread –

    “@ Christy Ceraso

    You are not a dreadful man.

    Hahaha, perhaps you ought to reserve judgement on that until you know me a little better.”

    this whole thing and thread made me laugh in several different and delicious ways. the unbearable dreadfulness of being… :)

  • and Christy, welcome! really enjoying your voice here already.

  • why not lose the robes, come down the mountain, grab a pitchfork and join the merry brigade out in the open?

    “Open” is constrained to the domain of time-space-causation. Once one returns to home plate, there is the realisation that one never left it. No mountain, just home plate – extending everywhere. The robes, whether physical or conceptual, are part of or accessories to the body-mind meat-robot: recognising the meat-robot to be such – and no longer identifying with it – takes care of the robes. And not quite the pitchfork but the trident is one of the instruments of Siva: it gets rid of the triad of perceiver-perceiving-perceived that is referred to in Alan Watts’ The Wisdom of Insecurity.

  • Humans are matter in motion, everything about humanity can be explained materialistically, that is, without recourse to an incorporeal, immaterial soul or a faculty for understanding ideas that are external to the human mind. Good and evil are nothing more than terms used to denote an individual’s appetites and desires, while these appetites and desires are nothing more than the tendency to move toward or away from an object. Hope is nothing more than an appetite for a thing combined with the opinion that it can be had.

    The social order is nothing more than a walled factory – we produce, the overlords profit, and drudgery prevails. When the raw materials run out, all will be chaos – the factory falls, the social order collapses, and chaos reins. Then you must ask yourself: was drudgery so bad, now that I fear for my very life? The cannibals will be banging on your door and you will then wish for overlords and drudgery.

    “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage.”

    – and a well-fed rat at that. You don’t know how good you have it – until you have to watch your family, friends and neighbors suffer pestilence, famine and war. But, know it friends, there are millions and millions of people on the Earth right now that live in that reality and we just sit here – in line at the drive-thru at McDonald’s waiting for our Big Mac and fries.

    We are what we are.

  • TIAA – I am so so glad. So indescribably glad.

  • Testes ad infinitum

  • Tom says: cue Leonard Cohen: Everybody knows

    Everyone Knows

    Two groups we can juxtapose:
    Those who have learned doomer woes,
    And those, to be brief,
    Who will lose disbelief
    Pretty soon, when everyone knows.

    Doesn’t matter if you wear fine clothes,
    Or know things not everyone knows,
    Or think some belief
    Will circumvent grief,
    ‘Cause in the end, everyone goes.

  • Having seen the tapes, it was great seeing the show live. Guy McPherson is generous with his time and easy to talk to; it was fun meeting him.

    I suppose the main thing I walked away with was again his advice via Nietzsche to “live as though the day was here.” Of course, while this doesn’t mean eating all the pound cake, there is no glory in denying yourself a bit a cake either. Our time together, even without NTE looming, is very brief. And so from Kurt Vonnegut, “Damnit, you got to be kind.” Rest easy, your troubles are almost over.

  • @ michele

    michele, nothing to do with being good, or wise, or better than anyone.
    I too would wish to be filled with joy. This is just a way to endure, because I will not give in. Yes, it is mastery, it took many years to learn. Someday I will not have a dog, she is old, older than me in dog time. Then it will be harder still. I will have to greet myself, I suppose.
    It is very simple, this or suicide. Nothing to do with ego, just a transitional state, and making the best of what is. I mean, I can be dead, or miserable, or self-pitying, other states, or this. Sometimes it is hard to remember to do it. Same for you ? This is what I choose.

    You want to choose something else, make something else out of it, fine, please don’t lay that onto me. You said you had learned tai chi. You appeared to know quite a lot. You said you taught. Why not use what you learned. Otherwise what was the point.
    Makes no difference to me, does it.

    @ Afrizen

    It was a very good list indeed, if you don’t mind my saying so. Compliments.
    More emphasis on the oceans needed, Tragedy of the Commons, doubtful. imo. Guy could have a ‘Beginners Start Here’. We could add suggestions.
    Comments thread on Climate Summary is unwieldy and daunting.

    re Robin. He can’t hear you. He can’t hear anybody. His head is full of lizards. That’s what he keeps trying to tell us. I think.

    @NoMo

    Humans are matter in motion, everything about humanity can be explained materialistically, that is, without recourse to an incorporeal, immaterial soul or a faculty for understanding ideas that are external to the human mind.

    Yeah, that’s what I was taught, that’s what I tended to believe. Until I had experiences that blew the whole lot out of the window. Think that if you want. Does not mean it is accurate or correct. Just means you’ve bought into a particular world view and signed up to agree with a particular ideology.

    You have to allow for at least the possibility that you could be mistaken, no ?
    Otherwise, your mind becomes closed, which is not a good way to be.

    How much do we really know and understand of what’s going on with this Universe ?

    0.001% ? 0.1% ? 1% ? 10% ? 50% ?

    We have absolutely no way of knowing that. We do know that we suffer from excessive arrogance and hubris.
    Was it Rutherford c.1900 who announced that physicists had solved all problems ?
    And then Einstein came along and showed they were fundamentally wrong about everything. Then quantum physics, even more wrong. So it goes.

    Seeing as Grant Schreiber is quoting K. V. it’s probably safe for me to do the same ( looks around furtively to see who is watching )

    “So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.” Kurt Vonnegut.

    Pastorius

  • NoMo said “Humans are matter in motion, everything about humanity can be explained materialistically, that is, without recourse to an incorporeal, immaterial soul or a faculty for understanding ideas that are external to the human mind.”

    I have to wonder why so many folks insist on the existence of a soul or spirit, i.e., a disembodied consciousness. I underwent general anesthesia and it was nothingness. I wasn’t floating above my body watching the operation. After counting to five I was out cold. I groggily woke up in another room when the operation was done. The drugs acted on my brain so as to knock out my consciousness – I HAD NO IMMATERIAL WILL TO OVERRIDE THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF THE DRUGS.

    No brain function = no consciousness. Death is total annihilation of the self.

  • ulvfugl, your post, which also addresses NoMo’s comment on there being no soul, appeared after I started writing my response to NoMo’s comment. You state that you have had experiences the ‘blew the whole lot out of the window’. Can I ask what were your experiences were that led you to discard your belief in materialism?

  • BtD: You just keep hittin’ ’em outta the park! Excellent!
    (and they make me smile – thank you!)

    mo flow: yeah, it’s amazing! It’s like we’re in some kind of race to see what drives this civilization bus over the cliff, or causes the whole house of cards to come crashing down – will it be supply chain failure, bank insolvency, currency problems, or will it be the environment shutting down so that we can’t grow enough food (or ANY food), or natural happenings like earthquake, solar flares or tsunamis? The list keeps getting longer because we’re so vulnerable now. Pestilence (like H7N9, bird flu, swine flu, some hybrid getting out of a military lab, or any of the antibiotic-resistant strains of other diseases), social upheaval and failed states (spreading like its own disease now), methane (and hydrogen sulfide) pluming into the atmosphere in ever greater concentrations, weather (with all the super-storms of late indicating that records will continue to be broken), or will we drown in our own pollution (Fukushima included), and on and on – which will be the catalyst to set the whole shebang ablaze? Stay tuned. It’s probably going to happen soon, if not in the twenty-teens, certainly within most of our lifetimes.

    Here’s a map I just came across that some might find interesting:

    http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-map-illustrates-air-pollution-death-frequency-160523115.html

    NASA map illustrates air pollution mortality rates

    Want to know where people are most likely to die prematurely due to air pollution?

    NASA recently recently released a map showing the average number of deaths per year per 1,000 square kilometers (385 square miles) that can be attributed to fine particle matter pollution.

    Researchers compared pollution levels over a 150-year span, beginning in 1850 and ending in 2000. The dark brown areas on the map, shown prominently in Asia, India, Europe and parts of Africa, indicate locations with the highest rates of premature deaths due to air pollution.

    Blue areas, as seen in the southeast United States and parts of South America, indicate areas that have seen air quality improve and the number of deaths due to air pollution decline.

    Why are so many areas getting worse? According to NASA, that can be attributed to increased industrialization and urbanization. As to the areas in blue that have seen air quality improve from 1850 to 2000, researchers suggest that a decrease in biomass burning is the cause.

    The research used to create the map comes from University of North Carolina professor Jason West. Published in Environmental Research Letters, the study estimated that roughly 2.1 million deaths per year could be attributed to fine particle matter pollution alone.

    What’s fine particle matter? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines it as “a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets.” Particle matter that is 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller is particularly worrisome “because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs,” according to the EPA.

  • No, I am not in denial. I understand perfectly well the challenges facing life on Earth, but I refuse to do nothing. I worked hard for all of my life. Now that I am retired I am using my personal wealth to buy and preserve in perpetuity rainforest. As of this date I have bought 14,750 acres and I will continue buying land. This is my moral imperative and if everybody did their level best to do something similar than we would not be in the fix we find ourselves. If all you choose to do is complain and explain why it’s all hopeless, than why not put a gun in your mouth and blow your brains out. That way you individually would not be exacerbating the problems you bemoan.

    You are either a taker or a giver-one or the other.

  • @ Rob

    You’re a crackup, but somehow I think you have it right how this will play out–us dismantling the nukes and all. SOMEbody’s gotta do it! But I sure hope my magic can kick in before it’s too late. :-) (Might as well find amusement where we can.)

    @ U

    Aw, come on. I check with Christy because she has psychotherapy skills and experience. I can’t afford to pay for therapy. Trust me, if I could afford it (and it wasn’t so far away) I’d be in therapy now (as I’ve been for a large portion of my adulthood).

  • @ cuntagious

    ulvfugl, your post, which also addresses NoMo’s comment on there being no soul, appeared after I started writing my response to NoMo’s comment. You state that you have had experiences the ‘blew the whole lot out of the window’. Can I ask what were your experiences were that led you to discard your belief in materialism?

    Of course you can, cuntagious, thanks for such a courteous enquiry.

    I can’t give an adequate reply, it would take much too long.
    In childhood I had constant paranormal experiences, I couldn’t understand why everyone else didn’t, and this was very confusing. I learned to adopt ‘the rules’ that everyone else was following. My father was a materialist, a scientist, a logical positivist, and school taught the standard materialist view of reality. I still had various weird experiences all the time but they lead me to doubt my sanity. Then came LSD.

    Look at the logic of your previous comment. The drugs given for anaesthetic are MEANT to have the effect you experienced. You didn’t DIE, you experienced total anaesthetic. You cannot draw any conclusion from THAT, re souls or consciousness. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve had lots of operations and total anaesthetic. That experience is quite irrelevant, really.

    Have you been drunk on alcohol ? Would you draw conclusions about the soul or consciousness, etc, from that ? Or coffee or cannabis ?

    Thing is, there’s another class of drugs, entheogens, which have a completely different kind of effect. So you are wide awake, but ‘reality’ completely changes. And this can be SO dramatic and astonishing that you really are never the same again. Because what you had always assumed to be the case, that, ‘the world’ is as NoMo described, simply is not so, cannot be so.

    What happens then ? You try to explain or communicate to people who have not had that experience, and find that it is impossible. Everybody who has had the experiences knows this.

    But I’m not saying anybody should, or needs to, take entheogens. In fact, some people are so delicately balanced, that, IMHO, they should NEVER take any such drugs, or other drugs for that matter, they should take great care of their psychic equilibrium. Others are very robust, you can smash them over the head with bucketfulls of mushrooms and they hardly seem to notice.

    But meditation is best, it’s safe and you explore gently and slowly, and find that there are layers to reality that are very subtle.

    It’s not that I reject materialism. It’s a valid philosophical position. But it really only needs one totally convincing personal experience that shows it cannot be correct, and then you can’t believe it any more, whatever anyone else says.

    For example, I discussed this stuff with a young man. He said his sister was in Japan, on the other side of the planet. His mother was suddenly very upset, with her hand over her mouth, very alarmed, saying the sister had had an accident. Shortly, the phone rang and someone from Japan told them that the daughter had fallen down stairs, broken her leg, and been taken to hospital. Almost anyone you talk to can tell a story like this.

    I can tell hundreds, countless,that have happened to me. But it’s anecdote, not scientific evidence, and very much parallels the case of Friedrich Kling and his UFOs.

    But there is plenty of scientific data. What that seems to indicate is that these weird paranormal effects are marginal, elusive, but statistically significant.

    I don’t want to get into that debate here, it’ll only annoy everybody.
    What is relevant to this blog, and the constant haggling between the spiritual people and the materialist people, as I’ve tried to explain here many times, there are the two fundamental ways of knowing the world which are sort of irreconcilable, mythos and logos, and we have divided brains, and this explains why we are so crazy and conflicted.

    Why we are made this way, I don’t understand :-)
    This seems to be one of the really big philosophical questions that demands an answer. None of the paradigms make any sense of it.

    Re the anaesthetic. Just means it was the ‘wrong’ drug.
    Try Salvia, or read what others say ;-)

    http://www.erowid.org/experiences/subs/exp_Salvia_divinorum.shtml

    @ Friedrich Kling

    You may have a fair point re some people who have not even tried, or do not even try, but I hope you are not addressing me, because while you were busy making money, I was busy trying to save the forests. Please remember that.

  • @ ulvfugl
    Well, yes, I do think that many cases of aggressive behavior are associated with meat in the diet. But I have also known vegans who were just as difficult to bear as a typical upset flesh eater. Personal histories, such as PTSD from involuntary involvement in war killing, or other major psychological impacts, poverty and other stressors, alcoholism and other addictions… can all override the calming, equanimous effects of even a long term vegan practice. But then I wonder what those difficult vegans would have been like if they ate meat on top of everything else. I can hardly bear to consider it.

    As far as that Tennessee bear and that sophisticated gentleman with the bat chasing him… (referencing your http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/best-google-streetview-ever.html link) Tennessee bear populations are fairly large now and they have become so commonplace that they are frequently confused with stuffed animals and even piñatas (particularly by drunks on 95 proof Tennessee moonshine), and the bears generally are that gentle… but the outcome isn’t always so warm and fuzzy. The bears have been known to turn and attack from time to time… especially when humans inadvertently or foolishly come between a mother and her cubs. When camping in the mountains of upstate New York last year, I had to sign a waver that held the state harmless in case of a ‘wild’ assault by one of their big furry pets. It seems the bears don’t like the smell of humans, but they love our bloody trash. One more reason I’m vegan. Sure they also like carrots and beans and candy, and even toothpaste and soap… but it’s greasy Barb-B-Q that really gets them going… or coming from miles away. It seems to me that picking the more beastly, smellier species is pretty much a no brainer.

    Given all that, the smellier species is probably incapable of stopping all the burning, and avoiding self extinction… and that doesn’t look too good for the bears either. No sir, they don’t like the way we smell, and that’s smart. They know what stinking fearsome beasts we are.

    Ever more reasons to practice the peace and love and compassion stuff… Unlikely, but… given the present motivations… maybe we’ll finally get good at it, moments before we kill ourselves off. Well, maybe never that happy fellow with the club… Homo.saps like him are ringing our planetary death knell.

    Oh, and I never thanked you for the link to that article on cooperation vs. competition. Great find. I dropped the ball on that. The topic will probably come up again. Steal a moment to pet the dog, they always go away too soon.

  • ogardener – thank you! I am very pleased to make your acquaintance as well.

    (apologies for the over-post!)

  • cuntagious

    You say:

    “No brain function = no consciousness. Death is total annihilation of the self.”

    I don’t agree.
    What self?
    And why do you presume consciousness has a location to die “from’?
    What is the experience you use to justify your presumption consciousness is contingent on material brains?
    You seem to nee unequivical evidence but have no way toget it from your model of reality.
    Anyhow.
    We are all dead….No?

  • @logspirit

    So you are a vegan with a fondness for carnivore pets. Interdasting.

  • Nice to see that our nuke plants are staffed by clear-thinking workers:

    http://fairewinds.org/media/in-the-news/report-details-drug-alcohol-violations-u-s-nuclear-plants

    Report details drug and alcohol violations at U.S. nuclear plants

    Drug and alcohol violations at U.S. nuclear plants increased from about one a month to almost one every week over the past five years, with a majority of cases in southeastern states, a new study has found.

    A report by Vermont-based Fairewinds Energy Education set for release today cites dozens of violations reported to federal regulators each year from 2008 through 2013 that range from drinking alcohol in a “protected area” of the plant to positive tests for marijuana and cocaine.

    The report notes several incidents at Florida nuclear power stations, including Duke Energy’s shuttered Crystal River plant and Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point and St. Lucie facilities.

    For instance, last November a contract supervisor at Crystal River tested positive for alcohol while another’s access to the plant was terminated after the worker tried to enter with a “prohibited substance.”

    In June, a contract supervisor at FPL’s Turkey Point plant was arrested off site for possession of a controlled substance. In April and June 2012, three contract supervisors at Turkey Point tested positive for illegal drugs.

    “Ten percent of the people who get caught test positive for cocaine,” said Arnie Gundersen, a Fairewinds cofounder and the study’s developer.

    Gundersen, a nuclear engineer who worked at dozens of nuclear plants and now serves as a consultant on utility matters, said the growing incidence of drug and alcohol violations is disturbing because major nuclear accidents such as the one at Three Mile Island were in part the result of operator error.

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires plant operators to report drug and alcohol incidents involving workers, whether on site or off. Roger Hannah, an NRC spokesman, said the commission had not seen the report but said the Southeast may have more cases because there are more nuclear plants than in other regions.

    [weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!]

  • Afrizen “To me it’s irrelevant if 1 person or even 1 billion get through the bottleneck. In fact I’d pity those unfortunate enough to survive such an ordeal and continue suffering on a wrecked earth and thus perpetuate our species’ sentient participation in what is, considered honestly and objectively, a pointless, drawn-out inter- and intra-species game of mortal combat, a game whose rules we have temporarily been able to bend to our favour (for the small price of a planet and its biodiversity).”

    Yes, exactly. Even if some humans can survive, they will have to do so at the expense of others. Whether that means hiding and refusing food to others or killing them outright, it will mean becoming responsible for the fact that you live while others die. Back on Peak Oil blogs when we were looking at a massive dieoff, not extinction, I knew I did not want to kill anyone to extend my life, nor did I think I would be successful if I even tried (not having such skills).

    All we can ever do is extend life, we cannot save ourselves or others BECAUSE WE ARE MORTAL.
    “While man is growing, life is in decrease;
    And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.
    Our birth is nothing but our death begun.”
    Edward Young

    All those who think the self is separate from the body and brain, well nothing to fear you will go on

    All those who think the self is just part of the body, as I do, well it will go out just like it does when you go to sleep, just like it was before you were born. No big deal.

    It is the death of the body that is to be feared as it is seldom painless. And yet inevitable. And being so self aware we have to carry this horrible truth around and yet have to deny it because we cannot stand to know it.

    Sometimes humor gets across a point better than any other way. This clip from the Onion in fact speaks to the terrible burden we highly intelligent, self aware humans carry. Would we wish this burden on any other species? Would we want to teach a gorrilla it has to die.

    Extinction begins to look merciful. Other animals fear those things that cause death – the chicken fears the hawk, the rabbit fears the fox, the box turtle unfortunately never got programmed to fear cars. We fear the knowledge that we must die someday as well as fearing those things that can cause death. Anyone who thinks it will be a great thing to live longer and watch billions die is insane or will be.

  • Here in the UK baby boomers are a significant problem. Their sense of entitlement and lack of caring for the younger generation is something out of a dystopic science fiction novel.

    All they care about is their bank accounts, watching television, drinking endless amounts of alcohol, stuffing their faces wherever possible and sordid sexual encounters.

    Of utmost priority here is making sure grandma gets her fair share of orgams even if it means pumping up poor grandpa with viagra pills after a tiring day at the golf course. All courtesy of their bloated pensions. Adult babies playing in disneyland for eternity.

  • And to illustrate how “clean” China is becoming (xraymike’s find):

    http://qz.com/128181/chinas-plans-to-cut-coal-pollution-will-unleash-another-environmental-catastrophe-instead/

    China’s plans to cut coal pollution will unleash another environmental catastrophe instead

    Think China’s coal-fired power plants are dirty? You haven’t seen anything yet.

    The country plans to build up to 40 massive projects to convert coal to synthetic natural gas (SNG), a process that would dramatically increase China’s greenhouse emissions, and emit huge volumes of toxins while consuming vast quantities of water, according to a study released today by Duke University.

    Given China’s recent pledge to cut coal consumption, what gives? In short, China has become a voracious consumer of natural gas—the largest in the Asia Pacific region—and is seeking to lessen its dependence on overseas suppliers of liquefied natural gas (LNG). And while the Chinese government wants to clean up urban air pollution that shrouds cities like Beijing in toxic smog, it doesn’t really care about greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the approved SNG projects will be built far from Chinese metropolises.

    So far the government has approved nine SNG projects to produce 37.1 billion cubic meters (1.31 trillion cubic feet) of synthetic natural gas a year. According to Duke University researchers Robert Jackson and Chi­Jen Yang, SNG emits seven times the greenhouse gases of natural gas. If it is burned to generate electricity, the carbon spew is up to 82% greater than a coal-fired power plant. Tailpipe emissions from a SNG-powered vehicle are twice those of a conventional car.

    Bottom line: Over the 40-year life of China’s nine approved SNG plants, their carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions would hit 21 billion tonnes, compared to three billion tonnes from a “natural” natural gas plant. If China builds the 40 planned SNG plants, their emissions would skyrocket to 110 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases over 40 years. China’s total CO2 emissions in 2011 were 7.7 billion tonnes (pdf).

    It gets worse. Most of the nine approved plants would be built in desert regions and consume more than 200 million tonnes of water a year. To produce a cubic meter of SNG requires 6 to 12 liters (1.6 to 3.2 gallons) of water compared to 0.1 liters to 0.2 liter of water for a cubic meter of natural gas. “The water consumption for SNG production could worsen water shortages in areas already under significant water stress,” states the report, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

    Despite the Chinese leadership’s new power policies, coal still remains king, Jackson told Quartz. “China has abundant coal resources, and local and provincial interests push the system to use the coal,” he said in an email. “In my view, developing shale gas in China would be much smarter than making natural gas from coal, but unconventional energy extraction in China is still developing.”

    The Duke scientists suggest Chinese officials study the US’s failed experiment with SNG. In the 1980s, the US Department of Energy provided a $2 billion loan guarantee to build the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. The plant went online in 1983 and within two years its operator filed for bankruptcy. The US Department of Energy bought the project for $1 billion and subsequently sold it for $85 million.

    “Using coal to make natural gas may be good for China’s energy security,” Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences, said in a statement, “but it’s an environmental disaster in the making.”

    (me now)
    So it isn’t just Fukushima’s radiation potential, it’s ALL of our energy (and other) pollution COMBINED that practically guarantees that humanity and most of life on the planet is going to be extinguished in short order.

  • Funny, now Ripley is crying foul with respect to comments directed its way. Ripley, you initiated the snarky and smart-aleck commentary and now you wish to claim the moral high ground? Didn’t your mama teach you the Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have them do to you?

  • @Tom,

    I saw that article from xraymike this morning, and posted this response on another board:

    Human beings are thermodynamic dissipative structures, built on the same genetic foundations as all other life. Like all life break down energy gradients as fast as possible given the circumstances, in order to ensure our own survival in a naturally selective, competitive universe. This causes us to seek and use greater amounts of energy wherever possible, splitting it into exergy (useful work energy that we use to expand the human realm) and entropy (which creates increasing disorder in the surrounding environment).

    This thermodynamic tendency is built into our genetic code, just as it is for all other living organisms. In fact, it may even be the foundation of our genetic code. We are blind to the instincts that underpin our behavior, re-framing them instead in human terms as “wanting a good job” or “wanting our kids to have a better life than we did”. The result is behavior that leads to industrial agriculture, deforestation (when the only energy source was wood), the blithe acceptance of carbon-based energy sources, and eventually to nuclear power, Chernobyl and Fukushima – and to this monstrous plan.

    I’m pretty sure now that there’s a continuous chain of development that links thermodynamics, the creation of life and its genetic information system, evolution by natural selection, the evolved, adapted psychology of human beings, our anthropology and sociology, and finally to culture as a general human expression of the whole process.

    The implication is that the thermodynamic foundations of the universe shape and constrain human behavior today. Our vaunted cortical reasoning skills have been added on like last-minute icing on the evolutionary cake. Their main functions seem to be to enable the thermodynamic process of degrading energy gradients, and to provide a set of rational justifications for it. Basically, decisions made in corporate boardrooms today have one foot back in the Big Bang, but so much has happened between then and now that we don’t/can’t see it. I’m convinced this is why humanity is marching so resolutely off the cliff.

    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars, but in ourselves.

    Life as a Manifestation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (PDF)
    The evolutionary psychology that set the stage for Fukushima

  • Katherine Acosta has published a brilliant article in Part II. Although I personally doubt there is going to be much if any semblance of social cohesion post-collapse, her critique of the “lack of imagination” in predictions of the inevitability of patriarchal domination is refreshing, to say the least! Excerpts below, more at the link:

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/katherine-acosta/51695/on-gender-collapse-communities-we-can-all-abide-part-ii

    Recall that an audience member asked Orlov at his talk whether he could find examples of matrilineal societies and Orlov responded that matriarchal societies were rare; they were outliers.   It is true that there is no strong evidence in the historical record of matriarchal societies – the inverse of patriarchy – where women rule over men.
    But there are many examples of matrilineal societies.  Strictly speaking,matrilineal means that lineage is traced through the mother rather than the father.  However, many matrilineal societies are characterized by shared power arrangements among women and men. This is true of the Navajo, the Cherokee, and the Haudenosaunee.

    …There is a pernicious thread in the discourse on collapse that goes something like this:  The gains American women made in the 20th century were “frills” made possible by industrial society.  Once TSHTF (The Shit Hits the Fan), men and women will revert to their pre-industrial roles and statuses.  Women will be consumed with child-bearing and rearing and household tasks and will therefore have little time for anything else.  The chaos and lawlessness that is expected to result from collapse means women will also need male protection from rape and violence. The implication is that, in exchange for protection, women will naturally submit to some degree of male authority – or what a feminist wit once called, the “protection racket.” These are merely the facts, we are told, and women who object are just not being rational.  Those who don’t get with the program may be left behind when times get tough.  Per Orlov: 

    It will be a thorough regression to baseline, which will be hard on people who are used to the idea of endless progress… Many of them will no doubt insist on making a stand for their hard-won social victories, and this, in turn, will make them a poor choice as crew to take along on this journey.

    But Orlov is not the first or only writer on collapse to express this point-of-view.  James Kunstler has been propagating these ideas for years, both in his nonfiction books, such as The Long Emergency (2005), and in his novels.  In the former he wrote that

    Reestablished traditional divisions of labor may undo many of the putative victories of the feminist revolution.  In the context of new circumstances, these altered relations will come to seem normal and inevitable (p304).

    In 2010, at a conference in Colorado, Kunstler apparently came unglued when critiques of his portrayals of women in his novels were read.  Several attendees reported his response to Sharon Astyk, one of his literary critics:

    ““Fuck those motherfuckers!” When he was finally at the podium he began with, “I’m going to address the woman thing right up front. I’m appalled that educated, intelligent women of the boomer generation are so incapable of imagining a world where a completely different economic status has evaporated the gains of women. You need to get over it.”

    …As for Orlov, and his latest work on “communities that abide,” I wonder, have we reached peak kollapsnik?

  • aT ABOUT 45:50

  • Gail: Once we’re in total collapse, I wonder if any female and/or male are going to be concerned with child rearing? If one happens to be pregnant or with a baby at the time of collapse that will certainly be foremost on one’s mind. But in a scenario where women are in need of “protection” what the hell are the men doing? Hunting bison with spears?
    It is impossible for anyone to predict what changes in behavior will take place, but I figure for the most part men, women and children will all be scrambling for food or otherwise too busy dying to be worried about gender roles.

    There might be a sizable group of predatory males running around, relishing the concept of getting away with murder for as long as possible, but without cooperation, such groups would consume themselves fairly quickly.

    Still, there is something comical – or perhaps absurd is the better word — for this entire subject. All sorts of labels aren’t going to mean squat when you’re hoping for rain so you have something to drink.

  • At around 45:50 of this video, Amy Goodman introduces Vandana Sheeva (sp) and Jane Goodall. Personally, I find Goodall the wisest and most compelling exemplar of feminine leadership, but I was puzzled by her reference to the “traditional” gender roles of chimps, perhaps alluding to how they can inform ideal human gender roles. If anyone looks at the clip, I’d like to know what they think she was trying to say.

  • Grant, of course I agree that when food and water are in short supply that takes precedence over everything else.

    And based on the expectation of a fast collapse shortly followed by NTE, you could certainly deride any discussion of post-collapse survival as superfluous.

    However, we’re not dead yet, and there are people (I am not among them) who think there will be survivors, and they are interested in how life will be organized and needs will be met.

    In that context, Katherine’s analysis is very interesting to me because she suggests (as has Guy) that patriarchy is a fundamental root cause for collapse in the first place, based as it is on competition and exploitation of both lower class people and the environment. If there’s any validity to this, it would seem productive to explore ways in which society could be constructed so that men and women are equal, with the idea of avoiding inherently unsustainable behavior.

    Regardless of how much time spans the period between collapse and total extinction, I’m quite certain that women who are being treated like sex slaves or worse will continue to have gender inequality on their minds no matter how hungry they are.

    The problem Katherine exposes with some popular collapsitarians is that they take it as a given that it can’t be done, and that absent modern civilization, we are bound to fall back on old gender paradigms. However, as she shows, that is only their particular cultural artifact, and wasn’t always adhered to in history.

    What’s absurd to me is how controversial the topic remains.

    Something to ponder on the beach of doom…

  • Gail, you reminded me of something. When I first started lurking here, I saw references to Orlov and Kuntsler and so started reading them as well. When we met Guy in Louisville, I asked him for something that would help me envision what the world might look like post collapse, and he recommended “A World Made by Hand.” I read it and was appalled at the vision.

    It seems obvious to my small brain that these guys are hoping for a shot at the founder effect. They are drooling over the possibility of impregnating as many women as possible….and with collapse, it’s all possible. They make no pretense whatsoever of even considering women’s issues/concerns/etc because when tshtf, the patina of civilization falls away.

    I stopped reading them pretty quickly. Rage fatigue sets in.

    BTW, there is a new paper out pretty much destroying Chagnon’s work on the Yamamoto, which also references Pinker and Dawkins. Saw it via Deep Green Resistance on Facebook, if you’re interested.

    I still say it’s hard to be menacing when you’re puking your guts out with radiation sickness. An inconvenient truth both Orlov and Kuntsler ignore.

  • Gail – “In that context, Katherine’s analysis is very interesting to me because she suggests (as has Guy) that patriarchy is a fundamental root cause for collapse in the first place, based as it is on competition and exploitation of both lower class people and the environment. If there’s any validity to this, it would seem productive to explore ways in which society could be constructed so that men and women are equal, with the idea of avoiding inherently unsustainable behavior.”

    three cheers to this. and thanks for pointing out Kunstler’s take on this as well:

    “I’m going to address the woman thing right up front. I’m appalled that educated, intelligent women of the boomer generation are so incapable of imagining a world where a completely different economic status has evaporated the gains of women. You need to get over it.”

    this quote – oh my oh my, i had no idea it went this deep with Kunstler. funny, when the light goes on, what someone’s personal cockroaches can suddenly look like. and to say this is some fixation of the “the boomer generation” shows such a complete lack of appreciation of the total picture.

    Grant’s point is on target – labels are not just going to be meaningless, but there will be many new ones.

    U – “How much do we really know and understand of what’s going on with this Universe ?

    0.001% ? 0.1% ? 1% ? 10% ? 50% ?”

    my vote is for something much less than the first number.

    you may have elaborated on this elsewhere, but I wanted to ask you – how do you see your cluster headaches and migraines as part of the picture? i mean this in a couple of ways – do you think you would have been as driven into your connection with Taoism, meditation and everything else there if you didn’t suffer these things, and has your work with these systems (and of course everything else) helped alleviate your suffering with these issues specifically?

    wildwoman – “It seems obvious to my small brain that these guys are hoping for a shot at the founder effect. They are drooling over the possibility of impregnating as many women as possible….and with collapse, it’s all possible. They make no pretense whatsoever of even considering women’s issues/concerns/etc because when tshtf, the patina of civilization falls away.

    I stopped reading them pretty quickly. Rage fatigue sets in.”

    thanks for the heads up. good enough reason for me not to bother with reading them. “the founder effect” – ha! oh god, let’s hope not.

  • http://www.democracynow.org/

    At around 19:00 of today’s Democracy Now clip, Greenpeace International CEO and a Mr. Masters of the Underground Weather Report (Masters comes on only after a later break) talk about Arctic drilling and broader issues of climate change.

    And this is what is surreal. What these guys are saying is very smart and progressive from the mainstream-left point of view. But from the NBL point of view, which is accepted as being far more radical and realistic, they are talking is if now were 30 years ago.

    At NBL, most understand the depth of corruption and dysfunction as something of unspeakable dominance. One wishes we could get Kumi (who thinks action and campaigning can bear fruit) of Greenpeace to sit down with Guy and match figures. Maybe it’s that everybody is guarding their flank, watching out for their jobs, and that brilliant Kumi would somehow evade the realities as Guy sees them.

    So what if we tried the same experiment with Jane Goodall? I see Jane as a transcendent figure, beyond petty job-tenure concerns. Besides, she has her own independent Roots and Shoots organization. She might not roll out the facts and figures as would Kumi–she’s all heart and soul in my estimation–but she’s also a scientist and very knowledgeable about the world. So how would Jane see resistance?

    In trying to examine the gap between “NTE-awareness” and the global “normalcy paradigm”–the idea that governments and treaties and protests, and IPCC reports can solve anything–some kind of conceptual framework might be called for. Within the normalcy paradigm, you go from the oil industry, through oily politicians, through the blissfully unaware, through the very aware and resistance involved. Opposing this paradigm, essentially, is the “NTE-aware.”

    Is there a better way to frame what I call the normalcy paradigm? And what is the nature of the division between that and what I call the NTE aware? Is there just a sharp line between little NTE-aware that gets it, and humungous normalcy paradigm that doesn’t? Where is Kumi right or wrong in others’ opinions? Or Jane?

  • wildwoman, mo flow, we can certainly argue that Orlov and Kuntsler are assholes to women…here’s the problem though:

    How, exactly, do you propose we stop their vision from coming to pass? If everything collapses, how exactly do you plan to enforce gender equality, if everyone’s busy trying to get something to eat?

    I don’t particularly want women to lose their rights, but how would we stop that from happening? We couldn’t even stop civilization from collapsing in the FIRST place, even though we gave everyone plenty of warnings.

    Heck, if anything, collapse seems to be teaching us that it does no good to be right if you can’t actually impact the world with your rightness.

    So, what we actually do, in the physical world, about the whole womens’ rights thing? I happen to side with women on this one, but men have more genetic potential in their muscles than women do. How do you plan to stop half the human race from simply “out-muscling” you back into the kitchen?

    Let’s stop them, but…what’s the PLAN, exactly?

    Penny for your thoughts?

  • Thank you Gail for linking the essay on the blind spots in post apocalyptic literature, especially regarding the value of the female perspective and women’s decision making powers in dealing with our current predicament. This is just another aspect of what Ken Wilber calls the pre-trans fallacy, a regressive move in thinking that accurately sees our current predicament and glorifies what went before, forgetting that we evolved out of that period for good reasons. So we have books like a World made by Hand and elevation of medieval times such as the Japanese Edo period as the wise way of life for Homo sapiens.. In this, the writers gloss over the cruelties of that period. The New Age community makes that same blunder by elevating any and all premodern civilizations to post rational wisdom and we have the glorification of the wisdom of 100 Indigenous Grandmothers who offer workshops and advice, once again passing over the abject terror of slavery, head hunting, squaw trading and frequent warfare that these ‘wise’ tribes engaged in. The best that can be said for such analysis is that it is romantic and looks to the past for clues to a better future. Searching for feminist wisdom in the ways of the Iroquois risk falling into the same trap except that the writer uses it to counter Orlov’s assertion and emphasizes the value of equal female participation.
    In the investment world, the same pre- trans fallacy finds its voice among the gold bugs, who clearly see the crisis of peak oil, debt, empire and capitalism and then make this whole sale regressive move to glorifying gold! They do not recognize that past periods of gold backed currencies had similar problems relating to debt, boom and bust economies and growing inequalities. Into these ranks fall writers such as Chris Martenson, bloggers on Zero Hedge and some of the same post apocalyptic writers such as Kunstler. Gold based currencies are a monoculture just like the hated fiat currencies of today.
    If there is a way out of our predicament, a big if, the least that we can do is become aware of our regressive tendencies of romanticizing the past even if the wise way forward is blurry.

  • Gail: I certainly don’t want to dismiss any fears out of hand. Certainly no one is safe, especially women who already live near military bases or in poor areas and/or are part of a culture of abuse. Society collapsing is not going to help their situation any. And that’s worthy of concern. But while the veneer of civilization might be very thin, I’m not sure how fast even the most twitchy officer on the police force will slide into barbarism. For most of humanity the collapse will take them by surprise. We already know we’re in steep decline and people are unable to see it even as they fall. With nuclear power plants failing one right after another and general panic while there may be repressed psychopaths out there relishing their chance to kill the boss and rape his daughter, I don’t think there will a significant increase in rapes because suddenly just surviving will be more important than fulfilling revenge fantasies.

    Of course, I’m also assuming that things are going to fall apart so quickly that no one will have a chance to play warlord of their neighborhood block, let alone set up sex slave areas. I’m not expecting people to turn to cannibalism within the first few months of collapse either. I don’t rank my survival rate as particularly high, but I hope to be proven right. Despite everything else, most people would rather just take it easy and not cause too much fuss.

  • Give ’em a little nookie and scotch and then cut off their balls with a dull rusty knife when they pass out naked on the floor.

    Or we could outlaw kitchens.

    And remember, “… it does no good to be right if you can’t actually impact the world with your rightness.”

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #52

    Last wound delivered.
    Heart-filled space left behind…and
    a little less grace.

    R.I.P. V.S.H.

  • Ravi Nathan, excellent comment. How fast will humans revert to barbarism? It won’t take any time at all. Just the mere whiff of rules becoming unenforceable can do it. Why do we need “Take Back The Night” marches? Because in the darkness of night, barbarism reigns. The veneer is so thin you can see through it now. Take s look, see Orlov and Kunstler in there, advocating polygamy, child brides and incest? I told my students over and over again that the first thing they would notice on the social collapse front would be the loss of women’s rights. Next would be race. Remember when George Bush won the first time? Remember the websites that popped up like “Bring Back Slavery For Jesuse”?

    Reminds me of the old joke. Three motorcyclists travelling down a lonely highway in Wyoming on a beautiful sunny day. One on a Honda, one on a Kawasaki, and one on a Harley. They stop when they see a sheep tangled in a barbwire fence by the side of the road. As they walk up to the sheep, the Honda rider says, “Heh. I wish that was Miley Cyrus!” The Kawasaki rider, a bit older, says, “I wish it was Madonna!” The Harley rider, even older, says, “I wish it was dark.”

    Soon, the only law will be that of force. I mean, in more places than where it is now.

  • Please forgive the typos. My fingers are stiff from picking lima beans all morning.

  • At Grant: if the grid goes down we will have mass chaos on a scale nobody can even come close to imagining. And, when the nukes all go Fukushima, baby, the situation will be like something out a bad horror movie. Not only will you have crazy roaming bands of para-military freaks trying to “conquer” territory – but completely disorganized marauding hordes of lunatics laying waste to everything in their paths. And, of course, you will have giant crowds of refugees on the move North (no sense going South!) representing the last hope of civilized Americans – and most won’t last 5 miles trekking on foot with no provisions.

    best thing I’ve read here in a while:
    “Heck, if anything, collapse seems to be teaching us that it does no good to be right if you can’t actually impact the world with your rightness.” Just ask Piggy from “Lord of the Rings.”

    Yes, and all this talk of the human social order means nothing. Just pass the time with these intellectual pursuits – when we should all be training for the “Great Collapse” of our civilization – there will be no rebuilding – the game will be reduced to just surviving another day… until there are no more days.

    Remember gentlemen, the rapists may not be very discriminating as to gender.

    Are you prepared?

  • @Librarian, I mean no disrespect when I say that your question, “what’s the plan?” gave me a huge laugh! Thank you soo much for that.

    There IS no plan, my dear guardian of books…other than whatever you are already doing. Myself, I do have a handgun and I do know how to use it. That was hard to do, for me, but I did it anyway. But I also believe, as many others do, that once the grid goes down, it’s time to check out. I have no wish to witness what comes after that. It’s going to be too horrible. My plan is to dope myself and anyone/thing I am responsible for up and to go to sleep forever, once the grid goes. I will try to leave no mess behind.

    I don’t believe anyone is going to survive long term anyway.

    Cormac McCarthy has it right, in The Road.

  • I’ve posted a new essay, courtesy of Carolyn Baker. It’s here.

    Hate speech will be censored. Those who employ hate speech will be blocked.

  • @ infantyrone

    I’m using a third post (apologetically) to respond to your kind comment above, since I overlooked it before and don’t want to forget it now. I agree particularly with what you say re Rob’s vision. Much to the frustration of most here, I doubt that I’ll ever agree with even this vision, despite it seeming the best conceived. Whatever happens happens, but I’m not putting any energy on doom, since, for me, it doesn’t make sense. I’m an old guy anyway, and death already hangs over me. One point you missed in Rob’s scenario is that 90% of us would be tasked with dismantling the nukes before being sent to our reward. Not sure said dismantling needs that many people, however. I’m sure a lack of information is part of my unpopularity, but it would take quite an evolution to change me from being a magical thinker. After all who, at the time, would have expected Apartheid to fall when it did? There are so many more examples like that. Totally “impossible” stuff happening.

    BTW, being good at art makes me (I believe) good at making connections and seeing what many miss.

    Cheers.

  • @OzMan: “…why do you presume consciousness has a location to die “from’?
    What is the experience you use to justify your presumption consciousness is contingent on material brains?
    You seem to nee unequivical evidence but have no way toget it from your model of reality.
    Anyhow.
    We are all dead….No?”

    There’s a tendency to view consciousness as a mystical, cosmic phenomenon. Looking at it from an evolutionary viewpoint, consciousness developed in organisms as it imbued a survival advantage. Some would argue that humans suffer from an overabundance of consciousness, i.e., being aware of our impending death and the meaningless of existence. And of course, all that brain power has given us the ability to manipulate the environment to a degree that we’ve being radically altered it. So much so, that the extent that our extinction of our species is imminent.

    As to my own experience justifying my belief that consciousness is contingent on material brains. I offer this — before I was born, I had no awareness of anything whatsoever. It was only after I was born, and my brain developed, that I was able to perceive things – both external events and internal sensations. This indicates that I — that sense of self and stringing together of a narrative – am entirely the product of chemical processes occurring in my brain. I suspect that when I die my consciousness will expire. There simply won’t be a ‘me’ to perceive anything. It will be nothingness, just like before we were born.

    The fact that traumatic brain injury can produce such produce profound behavior effects on the people who suffer them (Google Phineas Gage) further indicates to me that consciousness is located the brain. As the saying goes “mind is what the brain does”.

    Would using LSD open one up to previously unknown dimensions that transcend physical reality? Perhaps. Or it could be that psychedelic drugs give users the *impression* of nonphysical existence by radically jumbling senses relied upon to perceive and respond to our surroundings. At any rate I don’t plan to find out, as I’m one of those ‘delicately balanced’ individuals who should never experiment with psychedelic drugs.

    Finally, If we don’t need a brain to be aware, why are we ever born into a physical body in the first place? It be so much easier, and certainly less destructive to the environment, if we were all floating around as disembodied consciousness without physical needs to attend to.