Climate chaos in four minutes: a video update

Presented without further comment is a short video that reviews contemporary knowledge of climate change. The video was shot last week by Pauline Schneider. The oft-updated print version of relevant information remains here.

Guy-3Min from Pauline Schneider on Vimeo.

Comments 127

  • Wise words Guy.
    I’ve been using the same metaphor when discussing this with my husband,saying that ours must be the state of mind accompanying terminal illness. Awareness seems heightened, and there is a kind of fearlessness which results in the generosity you mention. This awareness of death close at hand makes me want to live every moment with generosity (and I try my hardest) and it’s good, and I don’t need a bucket list! Just being here in my still lovely garden and the surrounding landscape is enough.
    I’ve just been out picking fungi. Something I often used to do with my mother when I was a little girl. She’s dead now but this connects me to her, and I need connection to my beloved dead ones, now more than ever.
    I’ll dry the ceps and give most of them to my friends and neighbours here in the village. Will I be able to do this next year or the next? For how many more years will they grow? I can’t help wondering. But this year, they’re bountiful. How lucky I am.

  • This was a weekend to remember: quality time spent with the love of my life; listening to Johannes Brahms’ first piano concerto and second symphony played with excellence, perfection and soul by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra (of which said love is concertmaster); reconnecting with one of my former students (probably the finest in my entire teaching experience); collecting oodles and gobs of Pennsylvanian-Period marine fossils from a location that is new to me…. Life in all its contingency is amazing.

    Thank you, Guy, for this wise advice. In the shadow of NTE, one might as well live as joyfully as possible.

  • thank you, Guy, for this update and wonderful advice. pursuing a life of excellence. to act with joy and love – to create, to give – to let yourself really live. to act and act as if it matters.

    so much thanks!

  • 25 feedback loops? Guy used to say it was 12 or so. I haven’t kept up. What are the 25?

  • I admit to being a little confused as to why tankers travelling through the Arctic constitutes a positive feedback. It is a milestone, certainly, but in what way do they meaningfully contribute to accelerated warming versus taking some other route?

  • Altruism, kindness, joy also produce feedback loops.

  • WASHINGTON—A man set himself on fire on the National Mall in the nation’s capital as passers-by rushed over to help put out the flames, officials and witnesses said Friday afternoon.
    The reason for the self-immolation was not immediately clear and the man’s identity was not disclosed.

    Of course, we’ll never get the details on who he was or why he did it!

  • While the US government is busy denying services to people who desperately need it in a game of political Go Fish, it is still able to spread terror and death in Africa and the Middle East. Protesting against that strikes me a worthwhile act. There are so many human rights abuses that are standard business as usual in the US, there’s almost too many thing to protest against, but the injustice of the capitalist system is a clear target.

    With limited time and resources, there’s no reason this forum can’t have less self-centered manifestos and more open honest discussions about Life, but I suspect this will fall on deaf ears. Time is short, do we really need to spend it arguing over which end of the egg to eat first?

    I’m working on some chili and naturally managed to rub my eye with a finger well-seasoned with hot pepper oils. The burning, blinding pain was short lived, but a reminder that I have to be careful with what I’m doing. Some things can’t be rushed. I’m trying to make a meal that will last a couple of days, not something heated up out of can, and paying attention to detail is important. Three different peppers, all home grown, along with home grown tomatoes. A good chili is close to an all day affair, and it is resting now to allow the flavors to mingle.

    I maintain hope that this site is something where things are thought through and not just dumped out as fast as possible. The web is overloaded with instant gratification sites. Let’s go slow here, take our time and be kind.

  • margarets Says:
    October 7th, 2013 at 10:03 am
    “25 feedback loops? Guy used to say it was 12 or so. I haven’t kept up. What are the 25?”

    Go to top right, and click on “Climate-change summary and update.”

    Artleads Says:
    October 7th, 2013 at 10:16 am
    “Altruism, kindness, joy also produce feedback loops.”

    As long as these don’t counteract the physical positive feedback loops, they will do nothing regarding our future.

  • Dear Guy – A wonderful video – lucid and compassionate. Thank you – again.

  • Let’s act: Indeed! Even in the face of unpleasant odds action is the only moral and ethical response. Action offers the only hope of possibly avoiding the unthinkable.
    Dieing won’t be so hard if I have my boot on and fighting.
    Until then I’ll remain true to self and others.

  • Maybe Prince Planet can help us.

    He was my hero from childhood.

    ‘Prince Planet-First Episode’

    Prince Planet, where are you now?

  • Grant – “I maintain hope that this site is something where things are thought through and not just dumped out as fast as possible. The web is overloaded with instant gratification sites. Let’s go slow here, take our time and be kind.”

    a koan for the Sangha:

    At what speed is the Universe moving?

  • i don’t think there is any good valid advice re. how to face ‘doom’. the hospice advice of guy is flawed or at least immensely complicated by some huge practical differences. hospice is for terminally ill with just days, weeks, or a few months to live. we, on the other hand, have much less knowledge of how an actual timeline of events will play out, and have greatly varied personal hopes/expectations of how long we may continue to ‘thrive’ and beyond that merely survive. some are modest enough in their own limited knowledge and possibly flawed interpretations of it, as well, as in need of hope, to not rule out the unexpected; longer term homo sap. survival beyond a few decades or generations, perhaps even beyond our very own anthropogenic mass extinction event. that’s hopium for u. anyway, most of us think we’re not facing imminent death from ecocide. most expect to last at least a few more years or maybe decades. then, there’s the social isolation/alienation factor of being a ‘doomer’ in a fool’s paradise of chronic hardcore dogma abusers (that’s a term i’d like to see catch fire: dogma abuse:) who generally don’t have the faintest clue of the ecocidal environmental climatological nightmare lying ahead. sheeple generally have some degree of compassion and understanding for the plight of the hospice patient. for ‘doomers’, it’s more like fear and contempt. thus it’s completely different imo. u’re fortunate if u have even one sherson in your life with whom to commiserate, not counting internet relationships. if this be hospice-like, it’s an awfully lonely version. like having no sympathetic friends or family at your bedside, ever.

  • @ mo flow

    You are one tricky devil.

    At what speed is the Universe moving?

    The speed of the Universe need not concern us, because we are human beings. At what speed are WE moving ?

    However, if we are upon a spiritual quest, realise the Universe made us, and we become united, at-one with the Universe… we are it, it is us…

    But what the heck does that MEAN ?

    ‘One’ is a number, ‘two’ is a number, ‘three’ is a number…

    No, those are just words, names, labels, signifiers…

    What IS a number ? Do we even know that ?

  • I’ve always admired anyone associated with Hospice. I’ve always thought it would be inwardly rewarding to help out dying people in simple ways, as a volunteer. Now it looks like I’ve been volunteered, and not just part time! The main difference will be that the people I’m caring for won’t know they’re dying.

    I was talking to a fundamentalist Christian the other day who was going on about the ‘Rapture’. Instead of shooting him down, I said, “Well, I can’t wait, as soon as you’re raptured up I’m going to drive over to your house and take your truck!”. He let out a big belly laugh and it was great to see the happiness shining in his face.

    Not long ago, two boys about 14 walked by, I said ‘HI’, and one of them asked me for a cigarette. I told them that I don’t smoke and that cigarettes could kill them. One of the boys mumbled that there’s a million things out there that are killing us now, and they walked on.
    I thought about what he said and I thought, ‘how profound’! So I called them back and gave them the money for an entire pack. I’ve never seen such genuine gratitude or been called ‘sir’ so many times! One of the boys said they would never forget what I did. And all I did, really, was remember what it was like to be young and broke.

    Anyway, Guy, thanks for the reminder. What a great way to resist, doing good and feeling good, in spite of it all! :)

  • Dear Grant Schreiber,

    Yum…drooling here.

    Sorry about the chili in the eye escapade, but what time is supper?


  • Thanks, Guy. I appreciate your encouraging kindness and compassion, the softer side of ourselves, in addition to anything else we might feel or experience…and especially in light of the latter.

  • @ Jeff .

    “Artleads Says:
    October 7th, 2013 at 10:16 am
    ‘Altruism, kindness, joy also produce feedback loops.’

    As long as these don’t counteract the physical positive feedback loops, they will do nothing regarding our future.”

    Thanks for the observation, Jeff. I meant that my stated (none-physical) feedback loops can affect the people who effect those physical positive feedback loops. But people never know how loops of any sort will turn out, and generally don’t anticipate them. Should we assume that we live in a feedback-loop universe? I know that appears to be off the subject, however.

  • @Artleads, I’m not sure, buddy. I thought we were talking about drool.

  • Dear Virgin Terry,

    I had similar thoughts about the incongruity of hospice when we have no idea when we will be lying on the death bead. Besides it seems like we are so desperate and ashamed for love and caring that we need to have the world ending before we can ask for it? There is a lot being unveiled here, if we have eyes to see.


    Sorry my drooling over a good bowl of chili kept me from chirping in sooner. :P


    Early Snow Kills Thousands of Cattle in SD

    A record-breaking storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota … losses … up to half of their herds … livestock loss is just catastrophic … a government disaster program to help ranchers recover from livestock losses has expired. Ranchers won’t be able to get federal help until Congress passes a new farm bill … 22,000 homes and businesses … without power … 1,600 poles were toppled … nine tornadoes hit northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa on Friday … the 19 inches of snow that fell in Rapid City on Friday broke the city’s 94-year-old one-day snowfall record for October by about 9 inches

    Pass a new farm bill? HAHAHAHA! Those poor bastards.

  • Greetings Guy and friends, I wanted to express my gratitude for providing access to the wealth of relevant information concerning NTE which you have assembled. However in reading a certain amount of your posts, not extensively, but adequately, I find it somewhat remarkable that you have omitted reference to the most important and relevant factors bearing on NTE. You mentioned that in your childhood you had been subjected to certain religious constraints imposed upon you, which it seems you later found to have been irrelevant or unviable, or some such. I can empathize with you since that was similarly my childhood experience. At that time I had no way to substantiate the veracity of many things I was told or taught. I had no ground to dispute such matters. I accepted that the motives of my parents and elders were reasonably sincere. It was just that I had no idea that they had no idea of what they were espousing; I did not realize the pervasive degradation and all-encompassing deception of religion, in this case “Christianity”. Later I came to realize that the whole world is veiled by a religious system which in Greek is called the kosmos. This system cannot be perceived by hardly anyone because it is based upon the functioning of the soul of man which resides in the aspects of the mind, the emotions and the will. However, man has another part called the spirit, which is quite distinct from the soul and resides in the aspects of the conscience, the intuition and the capability of direct contact with God. When any human is born, the spirit exists within but does not function. Therefore the substantiation of God is impossible, and to perceive what things are accounted for in the universe as of God are equally impossible to see or understand. However, since it is not God’s purpose that this blindness would prevail He became a man and demonstrated to a certainty that He wanted to enliven men’s spirit, and that He had the power to do so since He arose from the dead.
    The moment of His death began the series of events which certainly will end in the extinction of the present human race. A great sign was given at that moment which was later brought to light by Ron Wyatt in 1982. He was excavating a cave just outside the old wall of Jerusalem and discovered the Ark of the Covenant. He also saw the squareish holes in the rock plateau just above the cave, the central one having a crack which opened directly above the lid of the stone casing in which the Ark resides, which lid was itself displaced allowing the blood of Him who was crucified to fall upon the western side of the propitiatory, thereby ratifying both the Old and New covenants at once. Mr. Wyatt removed some residue of this blood and took it to a lab in Israel where it was miraculously reconstituted into living human blood cells having 23 chromosomes. Later the Israeli authorities attempted to move the Ark but found it to be impossible since it is not time. It still remains there, ostensibly until the present edifice upon the Dome of the rock is replaced by the temple of Judaism, which is completely prepared to be built on very short notice. This event will surely signal the final days of the world as we know it.
    My point is that the events of the denouement of the present world are being governed by the Spirit (and I am sorry to omit the vast majority of the salient information here). Nevertheless, the Spirit is fully in control, always has been, and is allowing those who rule the kosmos to do what has been determined for them to do. The corollary to this is that anyone who does not see this nor does not appreciate the revealing of what took place about twelve years ago in the big apple cannot understand. It has come to light that a guided energy unprecedented in the universe was released at that time. It is capable of transforming steel and concrete into dust so that while formerly suspended they never fall to the ground except as dust. Such energy is able to open as many methane vents as the masters desire, or heat the atmosphere to any degree: create and direct hurricanes; create earthquakes; open sinkholes;

  • pinpoint and extinguish any individual so chosen.
    Another omission, which is mentioned by some posters, is the residue which is being placed in the upper atmosphere containing really nasty stuff which is falling to the food and water, undermining also the immune system. My understanding is that this is much more important than climate events.
    A final omission is that there certainly are things which are not from any other planet or celestial body, which have been on earth for a very long time, and are well able to control the soul of man. These are doing what has been determined. All these things can be encountered in the Bible, which in reality is not a writing but a person. All that is needed is an enlivened spirit to be able to see. I have nothing to do with that, but my submission is that the things I have mentioned above which are not particularly related to climate or political systems or such are the reality. It would be good if you could understand these things. Then you could really take the proper action. So act!

  • Guy,
    I’ve been through a kind of change cycle that has led me to the same place as you are advocating.

    It seems research on happiness supports the community building factors the like intrinsic motivators, unlike extrinsic ones.

    ‘The Pursuit of Happiness: Internal or External?’

    Happiness can be modified by an awareness of death in the future, esp the near future. But if one keeps looking beyond the fear reaction cycle of ‘OMG I’m going to die’, one begins to look for the things that allow one to be happy with less, to share…everything (perhaps0, and achieve local happiness, of a sorts.
    To anyone who is new here, or new to the idea of being happy with the prospect of NTE, listen to Guy, I believe those community engagement factors in our behavior, and disposition are going to be critical factors not only to any local survival of groups, but happy groups, not the grim, filthy groups or individuals like we see in ‘The Road’ or any zombie apocalypse scenario film I’d care to mention.

    Communities are the smallest functioning human units that have any chance of keeping the genome running, IMO.(No denial here…No Hopium…just pragmatism on the beach of doom, as the hot wind rises))
    Just Sayin

  • Maybe its a case of natural law: Quantum leap at the extreme edge. After neither saints, nor millenniums of holocausts were enough… Humanity had to confront inescapable extinction to reach the level of stimulus required to become fully human.

    Even then, I don’t think humanity will make the grade. When I consider all the millions of people who just sit on their fat bottoms and watch idiotic garbage on TV all day long or spend hours playing shoot ’em up 3D virtual bloody reality video games on their high speed connections, munching on Cheetos… wannabe killer drone pilots… I can’t help but feel humanity is worse than doomed – we’ve degenerated into grotesque monsters. Callous, self absorbed, angry, infantile, anything but humane, blanched and bloodthirsty – monsters. I especially see it from my perspective as a homeless old man living in the richest empire that ever existed. I have been ‘moved along’, on cold rainy evenings, with no place to go, no one to turn to, more times than I care to recall. When you are truly poor, and powerless, you are treated like a doormat at a riding stable. I see no hope at all of this unholy attitude changing for the better… indeed, I foresee it getting worse.

    We are heading into panic. Not just a gentle decline and quieting, suitable for and in rhythm with a gracefully aging population. Panic. Not just shortages of luxuries like cat litter and toilet paper… but food shortages and famines, medical shortages and breakdown of social order. Naked brutality. Ever increasing panic.

    How does a person, nation, species prepare for panic? A time when the entire surrounding population is in frantic insane confusion? Paranoid… with sufficient armaments to kill each other many times over, and the insensibilités to do it. When people who can hardly handle a stain on their carpet or -perish the thought- another death of their identical pet goldfish #99, start seeing, and smelling, human death… they are going to panic. People living in the soft serene surroundings of civilization have been so isolated from the real world of daily life and death they don’t know what it is. They indulge in fantasies of freezing their bodies, or maybe just their heads, to wait for technological miracles to extend their lives… forever. Death has become foreign, whispered in secret… an embarrassment, a shameful admission of failure. Not for polite company. Death all around? A crack in the normal? Panic.

    We, here in this lofty forum, see the world in ways that the general population never see, probably never will see. The masses eschew this knowledge, there is little likelihood they will ever comprehend such things. Not that we here are better or more worthy. We have simply bothered to look. As panic proceeds, we will be on the same sinking boat as our ignorant kin. It is impossible to ever be ready for all encompassing panic. Panic insurance plans are not available for purchase at any price. We’ll all be flatter than doormats soon, after the panic crushes our egos and our frozen heads.

    Panic is an ultimate challenge. Tiring. Exasperating. It will test the strongest. Choose to be strong. Extinction is the ultimate stimulus. Be rare. Relieve as much suffering as you can, radiate as much love as you can. That is the path of true nobility, the highest calling. That is the way to become fully human. This is it.

  • Dear M2,

    Thank you, I had to break the posting limit just to say this ;

    You just demonstrated better than any witness yet here why exactly we are doomed.


    But will Guy let you stay on the blog?

    That is the real question.

    I await the answer with bated breath. Because my final bit of sanity might be teetering there….

  • thanks logspirit. good insights. you are much more than a doormat to me.

    my wife and i took our 3 year old daughter on a kayak ride through the marsh the other day. i perversely think “how many more times will we do this?” i think that about everything i do. how many more times, before the collapse hits me in my (currently) functioning (for the support of human life) ecosystem?

    there are no lifeboats when we’re all at ground zero. it’s a shame, because this is a fucking beautiful planet, and i love being alive, and i want my daughter to have a future.

    what are the latest projections on life continuing on earth, or us creating such a shock that we lose the ability of cellular life to flourish again? maybe that’s too tough to know, since we have 4 billion years before the sun goes nova. and we won’t be around anyway to know.

  • I will never criticize left-brained people again.

  • Let’s pursue what we love? The trouble is, what many people love is civilisation and what it enables them to do. For a few others, they may hate civilisation and would love to bring it down. We can’t all pursue what we love. That would almost be chaos, if it wasn’t for the fact that most people haven’t even thought about near term human extinction and expect civilisation to go on ad infinitum and, consequently, will act with that assumption. So pursuing what we love, for most people who have the wherewithal to do that, is probably not much different from what we see today. That’s pretty depressing.

    If we’ve got until 2040-ish, then I, for one, could live a nearly full life, into my eighties, though with increasing hardship as climate change grinds us down. However, none of us knows how any of those feedback loops will play out. For example, by some accounts, huge methane releases were happening in the Arctic 3 or 4 years ago, but it hasn’t shown up at climate stations, so it’s probably happening much more slowly than many feared.

  • Guy’s gift to us of the scientific data and how it is to be understood and his ideas how we might act and behave with love is wonderful. He fills me up with calm and gratitude.

    But I do not appreciate having my peace disrupted by a certain pontificator whose name I won’t mention, but whose initials are M2, who thinks it is his duty to instruct us about the dome of the rock, the temple, the ark of the covenant with the lid whatever, the blood of Him and bla, bla, bla.

    I wonder if, as TIAA says, “will Guy let you stay on the blog.” TIAA goes on to say that his final bit of sanity might be teetering. I feel the same way.

    And log spirit, are you a a peeping Tom? I surmise you have looked in many windows and have found millions of couch potatoes doing bla, bla, bla. We all know about the couch potatoes but let us not make them our concern please. Why do you also feel compelled to break with the mood Guy gifted us?

    I am starting a list so I know which of you people who come on here and spew forth such disruption to what Guy is teaching, I can just skip over. That list will include those who think it their responsibility to lay out visuals regarding panic.

    Can we not all just calm down?

    I do like to read the comments as there are always some nuggets but this spreading of personal beliefs such as M2 has got my undies in a bundle. The panic people put my bowels in an uproar.

    Seriously, R~

  • M2, are you the 2nd coming of Moses?
    If you are, please get back to being a character in the bible, or maybe take a break in the Grimm tales? You’re grim enough for that.

  • @ LunaCannotPost2

    I will never criticize left-brained people again.

    ahahahahaha, sublime and brilliant ;-)

    Yes, I know what you mean, that yearning for the secular zone…

    Thing is, we need both, it’s not an either/or, and we cannot help having both, because they are built into us, the way our brains are constructed, same as having left and right arms and legs, so trying to say one is better than the other is crazy.

    Left brain alone, logos, is a dead accounting machine, but right brain alone, mythos, gets lost in a fantasy land.

    The hospice idea, re mental health, hits hazards, because standard definitions of sanity mean ‘being normal’, average, which translates to ‘being well adjusted to the insane conditions which prevail’, which is not a very satisfactory definition.

    Having read a great many books on psychology and psychiatry, I don’t think that anyone has ever come up with a satisfactory definition of ‘sane’.

    It’s easy to see that a certain individual is damaged and malfunctioning, and some authorities will point to people who are ‘successful’ as examples of ‘sanity’, but I find such examples, e.g. Tony Blair, highly questionable, and those same authorities would see an individual who sat and meditated all day as aberrant and dysfunctional.

    I’d see M2’s account as classic right brain mythos, as irrational as a dream, or a surrealist painting. That doesn’t mean it is without any value. That sort of raw material is the food of poetry, art.

    What it means is that, left brain, logos, is required to restore sanity or balance or whatever the word should be. Analytical reasoning and logic.
    What we seek is clarity, insight, understanding, not confusion and a mishmash of nonsense. Anybody at all can string together a load of arbitrary ideas into a sequence and tell a story, as M2 has done. Is it a good story, an entertaining story, or is it best assigned to the bin ?

    Science is about stories that have a precise relationship to something we can measure in the real world, that give us insight and understanding. It’s hard work. Anybody CANNOT do it. You have to learn a lot of stuff first, to get a grip on what has already been understood, and then it is always ongoing.

    There is a massive problem regarding people who confuse fantasies with reality. There is an even more massive problem defining what ‘reality’ is.

    I have been struggling with these problems for most of my life, hahaha, and I think that link I offered above, from the emeritus professor of mathematics at New Mexico Uni, re what is a number, is very helpful, because we can have three kinds… Platonic, Formal, Socially Constructed… maybe…

    So you see, this is how I attempt to maintain my sanity as I stroll along the Beach of Doom, yes, I see logspirit’s paniced crowds in the far distance…
    but the Beach is very long, there is always room to find solitude…

    Santa Muerte

  • @TIAA. Please feel free to drool here whenever you like. Seriously, drooling is by far a more clear and meaningful expression then most things people say. And, no one can be hurt from seeing someone drool, jealous maybe, but no hurt feelings. :)

  • “We are heading into panic. Not just a gentle decline and quieting, suitable for and in rhythm with a gracefully aging population. Panic. Not just shortages of luxuries like cat litter and toilet paper… but food shortages and famines, medical shortages and breakdown of social order. Naked brutality. Ever increasing panic”

    Wow, Logspirit. You are spot-on. I have felt the same way for quite some time. This is exactly how it will soon play out. I think we’re less than ten years away from Global Panic. Just a matter of time… In the meantime, I try to enjoy the ever-changing face of “Nature.” I enjoy my walks to see fall colors, cross country ski and showshoe. This to will all be lost to us all.

  • @Reta Martim. Life comes at us in waves. You’ll find yourself riding a crest only to find yourself in a trough shortly thereafter. Highs and lows, we all go through them, we can’t get away from it, it’s who we are. That is why we all need to accept one another for where we are at the moment. To force oneself to only express lightheartedness seems phony to me, especially here, on the Beach of Doom.

    You criticized logspirit for what he said. Personally, I agree with every word he said. I also agreed with him when he has written some of the most positive and beautifully poetic sentences and paragraphs I have ever read, not just here, but anywhere.

    @Ozmzn. I watched your Planet Prince, cartoon. It was amazing! The Prince even taught that bringing a gun to a conflict can get you killed. That and many other good insights.

  • @Jeff S – I looked at the summary. I didn’t see a list of 25 loops. If you have such a list, why not just post it here?

  • i agree with most here about NHE but it is funny to see how few do. this from todays uk telegraph newspaper, a stalwart of the media circus shows how both the writer and commenters are a long way from “our” view

    the comments bare reading as they show the typical opinion of the abc1 readers of this paper

  • If you know anything about chili, then you know it is better the second night. Drools are justified.

    This, however is not. This perhaps the funniest thing I have seen in a while and perfectly frightening too. A screen shot from CNN:

    Look and fear for our future.

    And clearly, not everyone is paying attention. Guy mentioned a study which pointed out that “we will lose most habitats for humans on earth by 2040.” That does not mean we lose habitats in 2040, like a light being switched off. 2040 isn’t a magical year to set your clock by as the erosion of human habitat will be happening no doubt in a non-liner fashion with greater speed than expected with the end result being a planet almost completely hostile to human life by 2040. As it has been repeatedly noted, the planet is getting increasing hostile right now.

    Make your chili while you can.

  • This is the price of Resistance:

    Moscow (AFP) – Greenpeace crew members charged with piracy over a protest against Arctic oil drilling are being kept in “inhuman conditions” and transported to and from Russian jails like “chickens at a bad poultry farm”, a lawyer said Monday.

  • I’m surprised no one has deemed it worthy of mentioning that national park service employees are acting like the vanguard of Hitler’s Gestapo in their zeal to inflict maximum inconvenience. (For those not closely following the US budget theatrics, one now needs permission from the central state to “recreate” on federal property.)

    You folks can pursue all the love you want; as for myself, I already know how the future is going to play out in an environment where scarcity is the operative term. The question has often been asked would the goons, whether employed by Nazis or Americans, simply follow ‘legal’ orders if given the directive to violate basic human rights.

    We now have our answer – if ‘friendly’, public service rangers can eagerly fall into line, what about other agencies with much more specifically enumerated police powers, and the concomitant attraction to working in those departments by self-selected prospective employees?

    Be happy, but be wary.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #59

    Wheel makes hub a blur-
    spinning it ’round an unseen
    axis of stillness.

  • Oh, and U: thanks for the link to my haiku sister!

  • Arc of the Covenant? no sillier than those who claim their “enlightenment” from their Zen teachings… Their “oneness” with the Universe, blah, blah, blah.

    If we begin banning those with spiritual beliefs we do not like, then a lot of people are going to be banned… doesn’t really matter to me, just sayin’.

    I have never believed in anything supernatural. I admit there are many strange unexplained things that I do not understand, but I don’t know anything more than that.


    The man that set himself on fire on the National Mall last week – still no news on who he was, why he did it…

    Personally, I don’t know why setting yourself on fire isn’t catching on – it seems a pretty good way to make a statement… hmmm…. but, you gotta’ have a big sign to let people know what your issue is – otherwise everyone just walks away scratching their heads…

    I think a good sign would be: “Industrial Civilization Killed Me – and You are Next.”

    Seoul (AFP) – South Korea’s spy agency confirmed Tuesday that the North has restarted an aging plutonium reactor that could help boost its nuclear weapons programme.

    North Korea boasted that it would restart all facilities at Yongbyon to bolster its atomic arsenal.

    Russia has warned that the resumption of Yongbyon could lead to catastrophe. The reactor, a source of great national pride and international anxiety over its role at the heart of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, was built in 1986 and is outdated.

    “Our main concern is linked to a very likely man-made disaster as a consequence. The reactor is in a nightmarish state, it is a design dating back to the 1950s,” a Russian diplomatic source told Interfax news agency last month.

  • @ Grant: does have a search function on their website? I couldn’t find one…

  • Be happy, but be wary.

    Be vewy, vewy wary.
    And if you’re a wabbit, be prepared to quack like a duck when you’re going through their checkpoints…or when a Viper team gets on your bus for a friendly chat.

    B9K9’s “wary” triggered a memory of Elmer Fudd’s “vewy”.
    On to Youtube for a illustrative clip.
    Found this:

    The appropriation of cultural icons of resistance to defuse their political impact and in the process sell XYZ to the wabbits sheeple is a theme of Wussel Bwand’s current tour “Messiah Complex”.

    You can see him talking about it on any number of current Youtube clips. Whether his shows are your cup o’ tea or not, anyone who says they got into stand-up in order to tell the truth in a funny way and cites Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor as role models is worth checking out.

    I had a dream that I won the Powerball lottery and bought a Hummer because they used Malcom X in their ads…and then donated it to Derrick Jensen with a copy of Guy’s years-ago essay about trying to being down IC by using as much water and energy as you possibly can…
    I think I might have taken the Rainbow Pill before bed that night…
    probably better stick to the red one.

    Oh, the topic is hospice & extinction…check out the story of how Norman Cousins beat cancer (for a while) by,among other techniques, watching Marx Brothers movies…talk about off-label applications.

  • @ nick

    Hi !

    Very cool blog. How do you get the tarp to stay on in a gale ?

    @ Rob

    So why these taunts, concerning matters about which you are totally ignorant ? You are stuck in your nihilistic bubble. Others have been there and found a way forward.

    Who claims enlightenment ? One-ness with the Universe is not a belief, it’s an experience. Anyone can have it, if they follow the correct practices. Have you followed the practices ? No, of course not. You’re like someone who says that swimming is impossible, never having tried it.


    Seems such a short time ago… is it any surprise that people find it difficult to comprehend NTE ? It’s such an extreme mental and cultural U turn

    Recently, I’ve come across some of the predictions made by futurists and technologists from the 1960s to the 1970s. Great minds like Bucky Fuller, Timothy Leary, and Robert Anton Wilson were forecasting space colonies and the beginnings of intergalactic exploration, advances in longevity studies that would extend the human lifespan to multiple centuries, and the automation of labuor, freeing us from needless toil to pursue more meaningful tasks, by the turn of the 21st century. Reading such things now is rather painful; it serves as a reminder of where we were expected to be right now, in stark contrast to where we actually are.

    In one episode of Cosmos, another such luminary, the astronomer-philosopher Carl Sagan, walks the halls of a recreated Library of Alexandria, regaling us with the intellectual exploits of the remarkable individuals who walked those halls two thousand years ago. Watching this years ago, I learned that mechanization, and even the steam engine, were developed here millennia before being revived in the last few centuries with the coming of the Industrial Revolution.

  • @margarets “@Jeff S – I looked at the summary. I didn’t see a list of 25 loops. If you have such a list, why not just post it here?”

    Jeff S. tried to help you out and all the information about the feedback loops were in the Climate piece. Help me to understand how you missed them. Were you looking at the correct article, or were you looking for a numbered list, or something else…?

    For your convenience I’ve cut an pasted them (and numbered them) below. In the future you can use the “Find” function under “Edit” to search for the words “Positive feedbacks”.

    1) Methane hydrates are bubbling out the Arctic Ocean (Science, March 2010). According to NASA’s CARVE project, these plumes were up to 150 kilometers across as of mid-July 2013. Whereas Malcolm Light’s 9 February 2012 forecast of extinction of all life on Earth by the middle of this century appears premature because his conclusion of exponential methane release during summer 2011 was based on data subsequently revised and smoothed by U.S. government agencies, subsequent information — most notably from NASA’s CARVE project — indicates the grave potential for catastrophic release of methane. Catastrophically rapid release of methane in the Arctic is further supported by Nafeez Ahmed’s thorough analysis in the 5 August 2013 issue of the Guardian as well as Natalia Shakhova’s 29 July 2013 interview with Nick Breeze (note the look of abject despair at the eight-minute mark).

    2) Warm Atlantic water is defrosting the Arctic as it shoots through the Fram Strait (Science, January 2011).

    3) Siberian methane vents have increased in size from less than a meter across in the summer of 2010 to about a kilometer across in 2011 (Tellus, February 2011)

    4) Drought in the Amazon triggered the release of more carbon than the United States in 2010 (Science, February 2011). In addition, ongoing deforestation in the region is driving declines in precipitation at a rate much faster than long thought, as reported in the 19 July 2013 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

    5) Peat in the world’s boreal forests is decomposing at an astonishing rate (Nature Communications, November 2011)

    6) Invasion of tall shrubs warms the soil, hence destabilizes the permafrost (Environmental Research Letters, March 2012)

    7) Greenland ice is darkening (The Cryosphere, June 2012)

    8) Methane is being released from the Antarctic, too (Nature, August 2012). According to a paper in the 24 July 2013 issue of Scientific Reports, melt rate in the Antarctic has caught up to the Arctic.

    9) Russian forest and bog fires are growing (NASA, August 2012), a phenomenon consequently apparent throughout the northern hemisphere (Nature Communications, July 2013). The New York Times reports hotter, drier conditions leading to huge fires in western North America as the “new normal” in their 1 July 2013 issue. A paper in the 22 July 2013 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates boreal forests are burning at a rate exceeding that of the last 10,000 years.

    10) Cracking of glaciers accelerates in the presence of increased carbon dioxide (Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, October 2012)

    11) The Beaufort Gyre apparently has reversed course (U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, October 2012)

    12) Exposure to sunlight increases bacterial conversion of exposed soil carbon, thus accelerating thawing of the permafrost (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 2013)

    13) The microbes have joined the party, too, according to a paper in the 23 February 2013 issue of New Scientist

    14) Summer ice melt in Antarctica is at its highest level in a thousand years: Summer ice in the Antarctic is melting 10 times quicker than it was 600 years ago, with the most rapid melt occurring in the last 50 years (Nature Geoscience, April 2013). Although scientists have long expressed concern about the instability of the West Atlantic Ice Sheet (WAIS), a research paper published in the 28 August 2013 of Nature indicates the East Atlantic Ice Sheet (EAIS) has undergone rapid changes in the past five decades. The latter is the world’s largest ice sheet and was previously thought to be at little risk from climate change. But it has undergone rapid changes in the past five decades, signaling a potential threat to global sea levels. The EAIS holds enough water to raise sea levels more than 50 meters.

    15) Floods in Canada are sending pulses of silty water out through the Mackenzie Delta and into the Beaufort Sea, thus painting brown a wide section of the Arctic Ocean near the Mackenzie Delta brown (NASA, June 2013)

    16) Surface meltwater draining through cracks in an ice sheet can warm the sheet from the inside, softening the ice and letting it flow faster, according to a study accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface (July 2013). It appears a Heinrich Event has been triggered in Greenland. Consider the description of such an event as provided by Robert Scribbler on 8 August 2013:

    In a Heinrich Event, the melt forces eventually reach a tipping point. The warmer water has greatly softened the ice sheet. Floods of water flow out beneath the ice. Ice ponds grow into great lakes that may spill out both over top of the ice and underneath it. Large ice damns (sic) may or may not start to form. All through this time ice motion and melt is accelerating. Finally, a major tipping point is reached and in a single large event or ongoing series of such events, a massive surge of water and ice flush outward as the ice sheet enters an entirely chaotic state. Tsunamis of melt water rush out bearing their vast floatillas (sic) of ice burgs (sic), greatly contributing to sea level rise. And that’s when the weather really starts to get nasty. In the case of Greenland, the firing line for such events is the entire North Atlantic and, ultimately the Northern Hemisphere.

    17) Breakdown of the thermohaline conveyor belt is happening in the Antarctic as well as the Arctic, thus leading to melting of Antarctic permafrost (Scientific Reports, July 2013)

    18) Loss of Arctic sea ice is reducing the temperature gradient between the poles and the equator, thus causing the jet stream to slow and meander. One result is the creation of weather blocks such as the recent very high temperatures in Alaska. As a result, boreal peat dries and catches fire like a coal seam. The resulting soot enters the atmosphere to fall again, coating the ice surface elsewhere, thus reducing albedo and hastening the melting of ice. Each of these individual phenomena has been reported, albeit rarely, but to my knowledge the dots have not been connected beyond this space. The inability or unwillingness of the media to connect two dots is not surprising, and has been routinely reported (recently including here with respect to climate change and wildfires) (July 2013)

    19) Arctic ice is growing darker, hence less reflective (Nature Climate Change, August 2013)

    20) Extreme weather events drive climate change, as reported in the 15 August 2013 issue of Nature (Nature, August 2013)

    21) Ocean acidification leads to release of less dimethyl sulphide (DMS) by plankton. DMS shields Earth from radiation. (Nature Climate Change, online 25 August 2013)

    22) Sea-level rise causes slope collapse, tsunamis, and release of methane, as reported in the September 2013 issue of Geology

    23) Rising ocean temperatures will upset natural cycles of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and phosphorus, hence reducing plankton (Nature Climate Change, September 2013)

    24) Arctic drilling was fast-tracked by the Obama administration during the summer of 2012

    25) Supertankers are taking advantage of the slushy Arctic, demonstrating that every catastrophe represents a business opportunity, as pointed out by Professor of journalism Michael I. Niman and picked up by Truthout (ArtVoice, September 2013)

  • Dear Kirk H. Well, merci, with your blessing I will henceforth drool here whenever the opportunity arises. (chili, second day…..drool). :p.

    Regarding the comment on the ark of the covenant, didn’t the DaVinci Code straighten most people out yet? For those of us educated on this subject, having to bear the ‘art’ of delusion which is the root of cause for NTE denial, is a bit like torture. The ark is the mother earth and we are the evil that just won’t go away or learn a thing.

    Stuck in the delusion, even here????

    If the vote is for speaking in tongues and delivering sermons and prophesies of a chimerical Christdiac tradition, telling us that this man made destruction is actually part of Gods plan, is yes, then what the what????

    Excuse me while I go gnaw on my leg.

    And as they ask on ‘I (heart) Huckabees’- “How am I not myself?”

  • Bill Moyers interviews Wendell Berry:

    We can’t impose our solutions upon the “situation.” We must ask the situation what it needs. (And patiently await the answer.)

    It is bitter to have to be patient during an emergency, but that is what’s required.

    We don’t have the right to be sure of the results. We only have a duty to act responsibly.

  • When Arctic News suggested geoengineering, it could be construed a crazy idea from a crazy bunch. With the IPCC also suggesting it hot on the heels of Arctic News, it would seem that recognition of the direness is spreading – as usual, with the requisite lag behind the actual situation.

  • Nice video here “Last Hours” – nothing we don’t already know, but nice nevertheless.

    @ Robin Datta

    I question whether a country that can’t pass a budget or otherwise keep the lights on can meaningfully participate in geo-engineering. We’re too busy fighting the last battle of the Civil War, or perhaps the first battle of the Second Civil War.

    Two hormone-crazed teenagers face off in their muscle cars on a dark, rainy road. They race fiercely towards one another – the one that swerves first loses, and the winner gets to screw the homecoming queen. I submit that nothing good will come of the situation.

    One of the points that Orlov makes in his book is that at a certain point in collapse you can’t do large scale things any more, even things you used to be able to do. You can break ground on a project and pour some concrete, but the system is just not stable enough to keep it going through completion. Even something as straightforward as a pipeline to carry North Slope natural gas to the lower 48 is beyond us, though we are certainly able to weld bits of pipe together. We haven’t put people on the Moon since we passed peak per-capita energy in the 70s (Olduvai theory). That accomplishment was our civilization’s Great Pyramid or Great Wall.

    How long until we can’t keep up the production of airborne particulates that are shading us even now? Perhaps two weeks once the markets melt down?

    Intentional geo-engineering (rather than the accidental sort we’ve done up to now) is for a wise, stable race capable of making and executing plans that span millenia. Maybe the next ones to inhabit the Earth, but not us.

  • @ Root Toddy

    Thank You. As far as I know, microbial life in general is probably not at risk from the changes that are going to render us extinct. We can rest assured that there will be some around to decompose our bodies. Some ocean bacteria which are important to our survival are vulnerable to warming seas. Some microbes will go extinct with their specific hosts. Those which are wholly dependent upon us will go down with us, along with human lice. As far as whether microbes can eventually evolve into highly conscious creatures like ourselves… A theory I have heard that makes sense to me is that the Life on Earth is like any other organism with phases of youth, middle age, old age, etc. The Earth no longer has a young ecosystem and, like any other living thing, it cannot repeat its youth. After our extinction, along with the extinction of all sentient life on Earth, it seems likely to me that ‘Peak Consciousness’ will have passed on forever, never to reemerge from intrinsic genetics. Enjoy it while you can. Imagine that everything you see – a highway, a forest, a city lit up at night – is like looking at a weird old snapshot photograph through a time machine. We won’t be here much longer.

    @ ulvfugl

    Thanks. My part of the beach often feels eerily deserted. Solitude is restorative but I also welcome the company. Not for nervous chatter which fruitlessly disperses anxiety in attempts to dispel it, but for solidarity as we brace each other in the fierce wind.

    @ Pilot

    Yes, Thank You. The ever changing face of “nature.” It is in the morphing clouds, the moving shadows on craggy exposed rock, it is there in my mirror. Each one of us is the changing face of life, living crystal snowflake moments that never repeat. Earth peeled away, exposed rock reveals the bones of the Earth. Flesh peeled away by years gone, human bones revealed in all their efficiency and elegance and beauty. Once they walked here. Once, they skied down this trail on the soft Winter snow, in the dappled sunlight of a late afternoon. Remember?

    @ Kirk Hamilton

    Thank You. Waves. Yes. Moods. Breaths. Pulsations. Wind periodically waving vast expanses of forests and endless prairie grasses, breathing into all of them, for them. Waving the oceans and the sand dunes. Wings flapping in the early morning salty breeze, creating fresh breezes that breathe the waving flowers on a hill that is so hard to climb. Especially hard on a torrential night. Water flows down the hill. There would be no stream sparkling in the racing cloud October moonlight without the hard stony hill, or the rain… or the sun which made the clouds yet always shines in space. Though, on a sunny day, I’ve forgotten my playful extroverted blue sun shadow. At times I am unavailable at the bottom of my convulsing ocean of tears deep in introverted shadows and lonely sorrows. Sometimes I stand on that hill peering at galaxies in the darkness, only in the darkness, sun and shadows retired… only then can I see the dim light from their billions of blazing stars. I’m sure you do this too, or you wouldn’t understand. We, and the world, have moods. Ebb and flow. Pulsations of Life and Death. So I fly kites. And watch trees. To see the invisible wind. Then I know I’m still alive.

    @ Reta Martin

    Easy now, don’t panic.

  • Although Guy is too decent a human to state it so: “It’s the HABITAT, Stupid!” could be our new motto/meme/jibe…. whaddya think?

    Or we could just stay with the olde “Arc of the Covenant” marketing campaign, worked so well for Dan Brown (and Indiana Jones, too, wasn’t it?)

    “Noah, how long can you tread water?” “Rii–i-i-i-ight.” — Bill Cosby. “Build me an ark.” “Rii–i-i-i-ight. What’s an ark?”

    The Wendell Berry session on Bill Moyers is excellent; thanks Artleads! I’d been wanting to catch up on him. “Things reveal themselves, in their passing.”

    The Force is strong with this one. Not so, the audience. Pasty-faced office potato liberals; no cojones. No wonder the mountain-blowers win.

    The time to fight was 1975, so here is your “pension”, nice folks, just like you waited for your corrupt state governments to deliver to you in your dotage. Nada. Empty boxes under your Christmas tree; no one wants to step outta line, and do different than they see those around them doing.

    These are not the “winter soldiers” of Valley Forge, not anymore.

    Just like “other” Henry wrote in praise of John Brown, crazy guy “doing something”, so our last days will hold ballads of praise for DGR, just as in the Irish Rebellions. And how hard-won was that little island’s liberation.


    I’ll be exploring some remote mountain valleys, same as I did last winter. “If you can’t beat ’em, get the far f— away from ’em!”
    “And they get the urge for goin’…” — Joni, for all you non-Canucks here. “All that stays is dyin’, and all that lives is gettin’ out.” Still chokes me up. And the geese are starting to fly…

    Tom Rush version:


    Thinking about winter coming on, could it be that part of our undoing is that most of our poetic/mythical/personal references to decline and decay have wintry referents? Especially for us bloody conquerors from the European North, we’ve been seeking warmer climes for centuries, and images of spring and summer are about life coming into being. In the WARMTH! Not about dying from OVER-heating!


    @Sabine — “how many more years” — my form of denialism is to assume a longer curve of deprivation coming our way. But Nature doesn’t work that way — pass a crucial tipping point, and certain things stop growing, or lose out to their predators. Some of my “escape hatches” are under pressure, too, and so I suspect more and more I’m likely to go somewhere “safer” and meet the same disaster, local version. But — as long as air travel allows me to explore being “bi-continental”…

    Sleep with one eye open.


    @David Goza — yes, the beauty of what is around us, the privilege we’ve had of inhabiting this beautiful world, that’s been more and more poignant for me this year than ever. Partly my own reflection on my end, and the extra kick from Guy & y’all to “hurry up ‘n’ enjoy!” For which I DO thank you.

    As Wendell Berry’s poem suggested, I sat with my wild animals last night, as the mom and two fawns ate apples under my tree. I was free while I sat within their wildness.


    @Rob — The burning yourself idea, not recommended, but, I’ve wrestled with its equivalents. (Just found out yesterday that the son of a favorite columnist — Ellen Goodman — did same over the start of the first Gulf War, the one when USA went total Militarist — 90% war approval. I started checking out after I saw that stat.)

    Just as Norman Morrison did outside Robert McNamara’s window at the Pentagon. (Did you see the photos of Mac with the recently-passed Gen. Giap? Militarism brings the belated regrets; only Nonviolence brings the possibility of a life lived in complete Justice.)


    @Grant — the only thing more mouth-watering than your chili sounds would be to watch the newly-released “The East” and Brit Marling’s every move in it, so the previews suggest to me. Good beer, beautiful women, loving our animal companions, and encouraging that early/last spasm of Resistance would be my dual plan for these Eschatological Days.

    Actually, I was thinking about that balance lately; spend an hour daily max on thinking on these Last Things, a half hour prepping to ameliorate our, er, MY survival conditions, and at least an hour in appreciation of what we DO have around us. Most folks do so much less in any of that. The mediated life. (And here am I — on my computer.)

    No need to speed up The End in our own lives, any faster than it’s going to be handed to us. Just sharpen our senses, our conscience, and our actions. Be ready to jump, if jump we must. No need to roll down the sawmill conveyor belt with the rest of the logs. (A job where you count your fingers at the end of each shift.)


    @mo flow — slow enough for us to catch up with it


    @virgin terry — you’re right about the varying timespans, and it was actually your thoughts that made me write the above to Grant. Since we don’t know what stage of “hospice” we’re in, we kind of have to scattershot our daily time available along a spectrum of possibilities, not take any of it too fatalistically and, as Guy would have us, be “EXCELLENT to one another”.

    It’s interesting, because in my youth, we contemplated the Bomb, er rather, the missiles, that could be over the Atlantic or the North Pole, before any warning was given. 20 minutes to annihilation. It was all down to whether or not that Button ever got pushed, and preventing from being so.

    This was a conversation that KIDS had. Age 12. Younger, even. Grok that, if u can, today.

    In this case — in the 25 or so loops — the Button has already been pushed, is our hypothesis here, and we are merely awaiting the slow-motion (but accelerating) results. The beginning of an asymptotic curve upward. And humans don’t mentally process accelerating rates of change very well. Hell, even linear change, straight line upward, Nah.

    We’ll see just how “upward” that curve arcs.

    “Bring out yer dead… Ringg-g-g-g-g. Bring out yer dead.”

    OK, maybe with “It’s the Habitat, Stupid!”, we can claim “Not dead yet!” (Or, “It’s only a flesh wound!”)


    @ulvfugl — (what does ‘ulvfugl’ mean anyway?) — in my chemically-enhanced days, I asked for my koan, and I got “What compels me to speak?” A few years later, I was getting beat up by a mini-gang, and a punch which knocked the the wind out of me answered my koan! (And I wasn’t even fighting Mike Tyson! No battle plan to lose on first contact.)

    “Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around… There’s just a few things comin’ my way this time around” — JT


    @Kirk — I’ve long thought of mental growth as something like a freeway with multiple exits, and we all start out in the same direction, but different people get off at certain exits, earlier than you or me perhaps, like what they find there, and settle down.

    The “Rapture” people, 30% of US population according to last readings on it, are totally bonkers, except they may be doing what most of us are trying to construct a rationale for here. Their inner alert system said, awhile ago, it’s all going down, no one’s going to stop it, and so I might as well settle in with family & community and enjoy my time with them. They just put a different over-story on it.

    (Of course, when their dear progeny get drafted to go off and slaughter their mirror-image equals on the other side, they don’t raise a thimbleful of objection; the perfect sheeple a ruler could want. He just has to look out for their ambitious “pastors”, looking for newer, better Crusades to lead.)

    They just don’t have the scientific uber-view for it all that you & I would agree on, and wish they had joined in with. Why mess up one good story with another, is their instinct? Why make themselves miserable, would be the normal human response? You and me? Just not “normal” pain-avoiders, like the rest. No survival value there.

    Do ostriches really do what they’re known for? Always wondered.


    @Woodsy — cattle deaths? someone up there likes us? The three things that are killing us — COWS, CARS, COAL — anything you can do to immobilize any or all of these. I suppose you’d have to drive out to the great ranches to take potshots at their bovine methane-generators (and probably get a load o’ buckshot in return) but it might be worth it. Other than that, spiking tires at the local MickyD’s — oops, did I just write that?)

    But, heh-hem, harrumph, that would only be if people were SERIOUS about surviving. And they’re not. So, on and on we blahvulate about it.


    @M2 — You start out very much on track, then veer off into details, which I understand. The mind seeks concrete facts, ideas, events, as if the details themselves could convince; sometimes it gets them, but not usually when expected or demanded.

    This is why you go through life skating on the thin ice of Faith.

    The key for you here will be to engage in conversation, which is what enfolds all our words here — acknowledging the other person. Do this, and your welcome is assured. Your writing sparkles.


    @OzMan — yes, communities able to “hide” away from the tsunami of mass deprivation that will sweep away billions of humans.

    I’m listening to audio of “Scatter, adapt, remember” by Annalee Newitz but I suspect her platform is too much “we must do this” on the societal level, which ain’t ever gonna gonna… just starting it, and she does go back into the previous extinctions — it’ll be interesting to see how she imagines survivable habitat in coming decades, without climbing on some rocket.

    As I wrote before, I suspect that a few billionaires are building their warlord refuges in remote mountain solitudes, and even a few evangelical types will “get a message” and escape the Matrix, so I’m always kind and respectful to my neighbors of this sort. Need the practice. The ability to perceive the good impulse in someone, even though I believe they’re being led way off course. And if they end up my final neighbors, hmmmm…

    “There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them; I’ve been around enough to know you’re the one I want to go through time with.” Jim Croce


    @Artleads — “I have been ‘moved along’, on cold rainy evenings, with no place to go”. Don’t forget the railroad bulls of Steinbeck’s novel, I think their excuse was “I got a family to feed too, bud.” Or Huck Finn’s drunken father. Or, the contractors who sold dirt-filled cartridges to the Union (and possibly Confederate) armies.

    The idea that “being an American” was something special has always meant just cashing in on a privileged position for a large number — majority? — of people, and not having to do very much to deserve it. Just a ticket, that’s all. Cheap grace.

    The virtues reside ONLY in individuals, and in their “random” acts. We’ll see (or we won’t) just how random it all turns out, eh, soul-pokers?

    When the children were massacred in Connecticut the dozens of airways and blogways filled with porcine pundits advocating teachers armed to the teeth to defend the next assault.

    Me, I’m “Already Gone”, and I’ve been pulling myself outta this briarpatch for nigh on 30 years now. Guess it depends on your definition of “Gone”.

    “So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.”

    But you are right, and most astute: We have chosen to climb a precarious precipice in order to gain, and share, this view.

    No wonder we feel like the Outsiders of all Outsiders! Those in the enviro world who know this mountain exists don’t dare climb it, at least together. In their private moments, who knows?

    Worrying alone is an invitation to Cancer, no?

    “Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders … take a sad song and make it better…”

    What would John do?

    But to acknowledge World Demise, together, in a group — minds open — that IS the radical step, that threatens so much the static entrenchment of others, be they aware or ignorant of what comes.

    And, it certainly IS — IMHO — a first step to breaking out of that foul imprisonment, that all humans will be dragged out of — kicking, for sure; screaming, most loudly — and lashing out at us (& our compatriots) for waking them up (and for the events themselves.)

    Panic? I don’t think you’d want to be in a city, as much as you’d want to help others. Up a long, long dirt road, at least, with the welcome mat optional.

    So it goes.


    @Tony — OK, “Let’s pursue what we love” IN NATURE. And try to educate others that “civilisation” is not very lovable. Not any more. (Actually, it’s just the carbon-burning part of it we’re concerned with now — the boorish attitudes we’d be maybe be able to slide away from later.)

    “how any of those feedback loops will play out”. I think the word “badly” will do. You imagine any of these will flip back in a beneficial direction? Or cancel each other out? They seem additive — no, multiplicative — to me. All, or nearly all, in the same direction.

    That’s the very definition of a “feedback” loop: This is not a sine wave we’re looking at here.


    M2, back to you; thinking about the Christian idea of “The Word”, and, I guess, Jesus as that expression. What we have here between us are words, and the thoughts behind them.

    I remember somewhere Jesus saying that sins were not what people thought they were, but that the only sin was against the Holy Spirit. I’ve always taken that to mean not acting and expressing when you are given the inspiration. Just get it out, and your pure motive will carry you farther than you imagined. That feeling of regret is when, in fear, you let that “spirit” pass by unacknowledged by you, in this world that needs it so.

    You may get other opportunities, but you’ll probably have to wait on another set-up; no sin is final. Forgiveness is slipping into the next opening that you are able to see.

    My faith is that if we open our hearts to what is happening, we will be able to express that all-encompassing Love that someone else seems to have done, once upon a time, enough to be remembered for it centuries later. (Only, many many of us, not just one.)

    Doesn’t mean we’ll “fix” anything, or save our sorry asses. But, whatever it is, we’ll have done the best possible, from this day forward. Gee, that sounds a bit like the spirit invoked by that guy in the video up at the top — the kind of feeling in every original spirituality that really reaches into hearts to bring us home to living Life.

    “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay…”

  • Henry, I think there is room for debate over whether many of the listed feedbacks have actually kicked in and are now permanently in motion. I’ve looked at the links for several of them (I know I need to do more) and they are not cast in stone, yet. In addition, as I say, we don’t know how each will play out. The assumption here is that they will all continue to increase warming until there is no life left. But I don’t think that’s necessarily valid. For example, one area of shallow Arctic hydrates (for which there is no direct observational evidence, as far I can tell) might outgas a large amount of methane but does that mean all other shallow hydrate deposits will? I don’t think that’s a given.

    No-one can know the future and most feedback loops are poorly understood (which is why most are not in the models). So, though I know the future looks decidedly shaky, it isn’t yet cast in stone, except in the minds of some. Without the future of life on this planet, including humans, having been decided, there are many other good reasons for changing one’s lifestyle and maybe good reasons for not pursuing what one loves now but pursuing other things that might have a greater longevity.

  • @ Tony

    We’ve had all this from you before, your thinking and logic appears decidedly strange. This vague ‘might be’ is ridiculous. If you want to cast doubt on the listed feedbacks please be specific and provide cites or reasons.

    The whole of the ESAS is shallow. There’s enough hydrates there to send us all into oblivion, without any other sources being required. If there was no direct observational evidence, why do you think there would be any concern ? I mean, you’ve looked at the same websites as I have, have you forgotten what you’ve seen ?

    This argument that the feedback loops are ‘poorly understood’ is absurd. Look, if you have a ship, and there’s water coming into the engine room, the problem is fucking obvious. The argument that the source of the water is ‘poorly understood’, yeah, sure, we don’t know where the leak is, we don’t know why the water is coming in, yeah, we don’t know how to stop the leak, sure, but so what ? You don’t need to be a scientist to understand this.

    Leaving the ‘difficult to model’ problems out of the models, as if they didn’t exist, does not give me much confidence in the models.

    Have you got your head around the time lag yet ? The problems we have NOW result from CO2 from 40 years ago. Emissions have INCREASED ever since, and are increasing NOW faster than ever before. Do you think that means that these feedback loops are likely to just go away ?

    @ Henry

    Got a lot of those James Taylor loops in my brain.
    ulv fugl = Norwegian for wolf bird, wolf bird = raven.

  • @ulvfugl — “Science is about stories that have a precise relationship to something we can measure in the real world.” YESSSS!
    Here we bring together all the conjectures from the observations made, and tie them together with our nod to the Precautionary Principle that should have ruled so long ago, apply a little probability, some Game Theory, measure that against your/my remaining life span and our mutual valuation with posterity (e.g., our kids who never call), and — where was I?

    Santa Muerte, eh? Why, it’s almost as if somebody, lots of somebodies, knew something, about what is to come?

    I know, if I ran into her, Santa Mierda! this is exactly what I’d say (maybe Santa Chingada Mierda! (hoping I wouldn’t be sealing my last words):

    “a time for love, a time for hate, a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.”


    @Pilot — on Panic, via Logspirit. Wasn’t there a slogan in college, or high school?, “Panic now, avoid the June rush.” I think that’s where we’re at.

    (Of course it could be like panic in Alan Arkin’s “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!”. Or it might not be so comical.


    @Kirk — second that, we have some people who are damned inspiring writers! And given the context, even the simplest expressions by those who mostly keep their peace sometimes just sweep me away.


    @Rob — yes, those who Resist must be more creative than the oppressors. That shouldn’t be impossible, but it is often overlooked.
    Don’t miss the Edward Snowden statement read on a video at Common Dreams. There’s something new and wonderful about having a real HERO, who is YOUNGER than yourself. Wish there were more…


    @B9K9 — good to see you


    @PMB — Speak of HEROES! You have made THE List. This really concentrates the mind. Subject of more discussion, and those who want to focus us toward.

    Overall impact, though? How many do ya need? A few of them, sufficient on their own; others, symptoms of prior ones?; but, the interweaving among them all is determinative.

    I found myself lingering on the ones that were most convincing/disturbing for me. Things I didn’t expect, in places I didn’t.

    The Amazon carbon reversal, for example. That one, away from ice and ocean, a harpoon to the lungs of the world. I’m still pushing away from the table on that one. Shaking my head. Those tropical roots, never had to be anything but shallow.

    I don’t know how the methane hydrates are locked, at depth, by pressure or by temperature, disturbed by warming, or turbulence, but the methane in peat and boreal forests and frozen lakes — well, that is very (vewwy) close to the surface, and vulnerable to release.

    The rivers under the Greenland ice, shown in some recent documentaries — now THAT is a feedback loop.

    Phytoplankton — that’s the one I’m a-waitin’ on — ocean absorption, which has kept our atmosphere less-burdened, until it doesn’t, also kills the oxygen producers in the sea. If I want to go higher altitude for cooler temps, will I have to bring my own breathing apparatus?

    “Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting. Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear.” George Harrison. “I look at you all…”, still weeping, too.


    @Robin — IPCC onboard. Last mobilization like we need(ed) now was for WW2. Just incredible every time I watch the movies of that period, compared with today.

    They had a “Pearl Harbor” event that could identify an evil, non-white Enemy. As one very good video lecturer (John ?) mentions, we’re not likely to get as easy a motivator.

    But everyone did give up something, and do without, for 3 years, anyway.

    That’s the level of behavior change needed, not for a war, of course, but for an attempt at survival. Interesting that people just can’t translate one into the other. You would think…


    @Woodsdweller — Orlov has much to steer us toward a Collapse perspective. (Remember, we get various forms of Collapse, before we get an Extinction. Collapse just takes out the first 5 billion.)

    We still don’t have enough narrative available on the Soviet collapse. I had a friend who was on guard duty on the Chinese border, maybe Mongolia, sitting on a mountain ridgeline, watching nothing, smoking weed, going back to barracks to see if any food or pay had come in. He saw some, but missed a lot.

    I’ve heard that some of the elderly, those without family nearby, starved in their apartments. That’s a percentage we’ll see here, but it’s not what takes out the younger and stronger.

    I’ve also missed reading about their recovery process, after the losses they suffered. Need to go back and get the picture.


    @Artleads, my friend — Are you a poet, or just an average Irishman?


    @Tony — yes, we don’t know about each specific. As I touched on above, some are smaller than others.

    I could look at them probabilistically, and say if each one makes a 50% chance of a runaway greenhouse (or other fatal) effect, then 50% to the 25th (or even 75% to the 20th power), well, the first is .00000003 (minus 8th) chance of survival. The 2nd is .003 (3 in a thousand). But of course this would be just sloppy ballparking.

    The sub-ocean (and elsewhere) methane has struck me as the ultimate booby trap, kind of like having a Claymore mine planted somewhere in your backyard. Not much holding it in, is there?

    If something can’t be contained, it won’t be.

    When you learn about the cycles of ice ages that have kept it locked in, and that we are due timewise for another one that just isn’t going to happen because the Human Volcano insists on melting it.

    But yes, I want to know more about how the methane is released. And how much. Those pink patches on one of the sensor maps, harder to quantify cumulative, compared with the carbon PPM. So much of the exponential prediction relies on that. I guess I’ve just been kind of lazy, punting along.

    The underwater videos (and the “melting” clathrates in a tank onboard ship) were frightening, but anecdotal. The combination of temperature and pressure is unstable, for sure, and those would sweep over multiple areas underwater quite easily. Geologic disruption by shelf movement would be more localized, I guess. Was the 1 km flare in E Siberia a one-off? We can only hope for the more optimistic results. And check for the updates.

    “Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ any younger
    Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
    And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
    Your prison is walking through this world all alone …
    …It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
    You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late ” Eagles

  • Here in Afraidia we are starting to see unquestionable ‘evidence’ or effects of accelerated warming.

    ‘BoM & RFS warn of scorcher on Thursday’

    “The Rural Fire Service is urging people across New South Wales to prepare for extreme fire weather on Thursday, October 10.

    The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting hot, dry winds and high temperatures.

    The RFS says maximum temperatures are forecast to be up to 10 degrees warmer than average for October, reaching 40 degrees in some parts.

    Strong winds, with gusts of more than 70 kilometres an hour, are also predicted.

    RFS Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, says Fire and Rescue NSW and National Parks and Wildlife are preparing for these conditions.

    He says a Bush Fire Survival Plan is vital in these conditions.

    “It’s important that residents prepare their property and clear it of fuel such as leaves in gutters and wood piles near buildings,” he said.”

    Brings to mind the old Cheech and Chong movie …. Up In Smoke.

    Best get those local communities communing.

  • Henry: I have a couple addictions beyond chili, and watching movies is one of them. THE EAST has its heart in the right place, but is a failure of a movie in a couple of areas, let alone the You-Got-To-Be-Kidding-Me ending. Save yourself the disappointment.

    I confess to being somewhat fascinated by End of the World movies, and that dates back to watching LAST MAN ON EARTH starring Vincent Price when I was a wee tot in the 1960s. It was remade in the 70s as THE OMEGA MAN starring Charlton Heston, and remade again as I AM LEGEND starring Will Smith. The Price version is still the best one.

    Real big fan of zombie movies too, and any zombie fan will tell you the real problem in the movies is always other people. The zombies themselves are akin to bad weather events. They can be dangerous, but they are manageable. Crisis is almost always caused by greed, stupidity, lust and/or envy — so you could say zombie movies are morality plays. Being the toughest guy around with the most weapons doesn’t aid survival nearly as much as being kind, considerate and helpful.

    Not that I expect watching zombie movies is going to be any training for NTE, but I hope to be kind, considerate and helpful during those terrible times before I die.

  • John Constantino’s family says he long suffered from mental illness and his self-immolation on the National Mall was not political. They said he was a loving father and husband.

    As to it being non-political, I don’t find that opinion very credible. Most suicides I’ve known have been private, efficient and relatively pain-free. Those I’ve shared confidence with in their own private despair have planned the same. Going to the National Mall and setting yourself on fire is a statement. Being mentally ill does not preclude one from making political statements.

    This is Resistance. John Constantino’s death is a very loud statement, yet, few will hear it.

    Now, the 30 people suffering in that Russian jail (for climbing an oil rig platform in the Arctic Sea) are finding out what real Resistance feels like – they are suffering and I’m sure some of them wish they had set themselves on fire on that rig – and burn the rig down with them – might have made a bigger statement. And, I’m sure some of them are wishing they had never gotten on the boat…

    As stated by Bill McKibben, the fossil fuel industries are “Public Enemy Number One.” Oil is particularly vilified as evidenced by high-profile campaigns to stop pipelines, drilling, tankers, oil sands, and anything else to do with producing or transporting oil. Oil is responsible for 36% of global energy and is therefore the most important source of energy to support our civilization.

    If it is the aim of environmentalists to stop fossil fuel production and use, then they are promoting a policy that would have disastrous consequences for human civilization and the environment. If we stopped using fossil fuel today, or by 2020 as Al Gore proposes, at least half the human population would perish (probably more, a lot more) in a very ugly sequence of events – war, famine, pestilence. The Solution, therefore, is damn near as bad as the disease. However, crashing industrial civilization and then having a majority of the humans die is the only chance Every Living Thing on Earth has – and that is what the fight is now about. The biggest problem logistically is having most humans die soon – because they leave behind this giant toxic infrastructure that, if left unattended, will become more and more toxic. So, the real question is: How do we get the humans to die AND get the toxic infrastructure safely dismantled. That should be our focus.

    Job number one should be to decommission all nuclear power plants and safely store their hazardous materials. Job number two is to dismantle all nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, etc., and safely store their hazardous materials. Job number three is to dismantle chemical plants, refineries, military installations, etc.

    John Constantino is a casualty of Industrial Civilization.

  • @ Henry

    “@Artleads, my friend — Are you a poet, or just an average Irishman?”

    I suppose it’s being neither that’s kicking my butt. Thanks for providing a few convulsive bouts of laughter, and many smiles.

  • After the world witnessed a widespread radioactive disaster following the Tsunami that took down power systems at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan you would think that nuclear regulators and operators would have taken the threat of unforeseen accidents seriously.

    Apparently, this is not the case, according to a new report from the United Kingdom.
    Nearly the exact same scenario played out in the Devonport Dockyard last summer, when the primary and secondary power sources for nuclear cooling fuel became inexplicably inoperable.

    It was a situation kept secret because the implications were so serious that the entire country of Britain could have been turned to a radioactive wasteland overnight.

  • Apparently jelly fish will survive:

    Unfortunately the article demonizes the creatures for being so resilient. Jealous, I guess.

  • I want to be a jellyfish.

  • As stated by Bill McKibben, the fossil fuel industries are “Public Enemy Number One.”

    In that case the real Public Enemy Number One is the global human population in excess of the population at the beginning of the Coal Age, around the 1820s – all the people in excess of one billion, who are the driving force behind today’s extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. No consumers: no demand – no profits.

    Apparently jelly fish will survive:

    And with good reason, too. They are the most advanced of the non-bilateria.

    The bilateria /ˌbaɪləˈtɪəriə/ are all animals having a bilateral symmetry, i.e. they have a front and a back end, as well as an upside and downside. In contrast, radially symmetrical animals like jellyfish have a topside and downside, but no front and back. The bilateria are a subregnum (a major group) of animals, including the majority of phyla but not sponges, cnidarians, placozoans and ctenophores.

    Some other non-bilateria such as sponges (Porifera = “pore-bearers”) have no differentiation of cellular lineages into different germinal layers; jellyfish have two germinal lineages, the ectoderm and the endoderm.

    Humans have three layers:

    Ectoderm: the skin and its appendages (hair follicles, sebaceous and sweat glands, the mammary glands), the arrectotes pilotum (the muscles of the hairs which make them stand on end), the central and peripheral nervous systems (including the retina and the posterior pituitary), the cornea, the lens, the smooth muscle of the iris, the ciliary body, the enamel of the teeth, the neural crest derivatives including cells of ganglia and Schwann cells (that produce myelin) of the peripheral nervous system, the pigment cells of the dermis; the muscles, connective tissue and bone of the branchial arches; suprarenal medulla and meninges, the nerve plexuses of the gut (myenteric – Auerbach’s – and submucous – Miessner’s – plexuses), lining of outer part of both ends of gut (anus and mouth linings, the proctodaeum and the stomodaeum) and the derivative of the latter, the anterior pituitary.

    Mesoderm: produces the rest of the connective tissue and its derivatives, the musculoskeletal system, the bone marrow and blood-forming tissues and the formed elements of the blood. Part is segmented (the somites) that produce the vertebral column and the muscles and dermis innervated by the segmental nerves of the spinal cord. Most does not retain its segmented morphology and is referred to as the lateral plate mesoderm. It consists of two layers, the outer layer, the somatopleure, which separates from the inner layer, the splanchnopleure. The former forms the musculoskeletal and connective tissues of the limbs and trunk, while the latter forms the muscle and connective tissue of the visceral organs, and also the heart. The zone of separation becomes the coelom, which in humans (and mammals, but not all animals) separates into the pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal cavities and – in males – the cavity of the tunica vaginalis testis.

    Another part, the intermediate mesoderm, forms the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the gonads.

    Entoderm: Eustachian tubes, thymus, thyroid, parathyroid, epithelium of the tonsils, epithelium and glandular elements from the oesophagus to the rectum, the liver and the pancreas.

    In the case of jellyfish, there are not only just two germinal layers, but the extreme degree of specialisation as above does not occur. Most cells can be moved from one place to another even from one layer to the other, and will change their form an function appropriately for their new location. This resilience (adaptability – redundancy in function) combined with (enough specialisation to permit) efficiency bodes well when times are a’changing.

  • That’s arrectores pilorum. Chalk one more up to the spelling corrector.

  • @Robin Datta

    It’s been years since my embryology class! Just for fun:

    I figure the biosphere will survive – she’s tough and resilient. Oh well ;-)

    Not hard for me to understand the “hospice” perspective – getting older now and realizing that my personal journey is unsustainable. Somehow I feel a bit foolish for having been suckered into accepting a culture that I could never reconcile with my intuitive understanding of the real world. Damn, too soon old, too late smart. Smoked a stogie in Abbey’s memory at Arches…maybe I’ll shoot my television for what that’s worth.

    Anyone need some stuff?

  • There it is! Excellent message, Guy :)

  • @Dr. McPherson

    I don’t know how you do it, Guy. It is uncanny how you remain so calm in the delivery of such dire information. I can barely keep the panic contained sometimes, no matter all the talk of kindness, love, generosity, enjoying what is left, etc. I like these short videos you are doing with Pauline, they are more personal than the formal talks, very effective. You do look a little sad in the eyes, but I am still amazed at your composure. Thanks for all of your efforts.


    You are a really classy guy! I have just come back online, so have not had a chance to catch up, but I am in alignment with your take on how we should strive to behave.

    I can’t take the time to go into many details right now, but we have just had a natural disaster in South Dakota, and my very worst fears nearly came true, namely, sitting with my sobbing five year old son as he had a massive asthma attack, while we were stranded in a blizzard with no power, my partner half-way across the state. I had even mentioned here about purchasing a portable solar inverter to run his nebulizer in case something like this happened, but they are very costly, and I didn’t get it done. The girls were fine, myself as well, though I did have my own asthma scare.
    So, what have I learned?
    1. When you are put to the test, all philosophizing goes out the window. Auto-pilot and survival mode rule.
    2. There is no way to prepare for all eventualities, or even most.
    3. Nobody cares, unless it is happening to them personally. For example, from above re: ranchers who lost their livestock in the blizzard: HAHAHAHA! Those poor bastards. (Nothing personal against the commenter, but it does sting a little to see those type of flippant remarks.)


    Get your next tree destruction story from right here in the Black Hills and Rapid City! We got 31 inches of heavy, wet snow on trees with full foliage on my side of town, with parts of the hills getting close to five feet. I mentioned the possibility of downed trees and power outages, but it was far worse than anyone expected. Crazy that only a day before, the forecast was for rain, then a few inches of snow, then up from that. I can’t find it in me to post aftermath pictures, I just got my first glimpse of the neighborhood when I took my son to school this morning, as we’ve been stuck for five days with no power and snowed in, but the trees are heartbreaking, even with awareness of how bad their condition was prior to the storm. Strangely, the dead trees bare of any leaves at all were mostly left standing.

    Poor Bastards, indeed! hahahaa!!!!!!

  • @ Badlands

    The laughing was at the idea that Congress can pass a farm bill to, among other things, help those ranchers, not at their misfortune. Anyone dependent on this Congress (not merely dysfunctional, but increasingly anti-functional) is a poor bastard indeed.

    In Colorado people plant deciduous trees in residential areas, but they don’t live long for exactly that reason – heavy snows on full foliage will wreck them. When I has a house in the Ponderosa zone (now likely damaged or destroyed by flood, the folks there were helicoptered out when the road was washed out in both directions) the waist-high trees would be bent over with the tops touching the ground under snow, but they are native and can take that. The trees you have are no longer native to your new climate.

  • HELLO?

  • I couldn’t see any comments past 5pm yesterday – thought something was wrong, but now I see them.


  • I’ve posted a new guest essay. It’s here.

  • As rudimentary as it is, Guy’s recommendation to live our lives “as if” we are in hospice is the wisest & most helpful advice we can absorb.

    I fully accept it.

    Albert Camus made a similar suggestion more than one-half century ago in THE STRANGER.

    “If you knew that your friend was going to die in the next week, how would you treat him in the light of that knowledge.”

    If you knew that it was very probable that you would either be confronted with unspeakable horrors and/or your own death; what would you do with your time left?”

  • @WoodsDweller

    I hear you, and it was not personal. The disgust lies with the IMMEDIATE political tone of the reporting. After five days of being snowed in, I had to go to a laundrymat to dry some clothes for my son as the schools were opening back up, and getting a first glimpse of the news on the storm, the only reporting I saw involved Farm Bill this, Gov shutdown that.
    I knew about the cows because when my partner was finally able to drive back on Monday, he had seen them in the fields and ditches. These are people and animals, and no matter what anyone thinks about their lifestyle, they are suffering. They are still looking for animals, and having to figure out how to dispose of the carcasses. I don’t figure anyone has their hand out just yet, at least not from what I’ve read from actual people and ranchers in the middle of this.
    Here is a blog entry from a local rancher. I see nothing about Farm Bills in here. This is devastation of life in the midst of climate chaos.
    Also, it’s not just livestock, but crops. Has anyone seen anything in the news about that? I sure haven’t, as the only useful and valid information seems to come by word of mouth.

  • Badlands: I can’t imagine the feelings of helplessness in the middle of a blackout snowstorm with a sick child. You’re tougher than I will ever be. It is t-shirt weather here in Chicago, very pleasant and totally wrong for October 10th.

    We’ve been trained to ignore other people, to take care of ourselves, but without each other we are surely doomed. We need each other, and that need is considered a weakness. My teeth clench when I hear most of the nation dismissed as “fly over country” because surely fly over people do not count, do not matter, have no voice. But people in planes matter more than people on the ground. People on the coasts matter more than the people in the interior. People with money matter more than life itself.

    So much feels like fatalism. We can’t wait to be dead. We deserve death. We want to be torn to pieces by starving dogs. Far too many politicians in the US evoke the End Times and the return of Jesus as something to be joyful about. We are steeped in death, so why does extinction sting so much? Because no one will be around to read how awesome we were in life? I don’t get it. We are more concerned with our legacy than with our daily life.

    What do you want on your tombstone? Nothing. I want to vanish without a trace, leave no marker behind. In the face of NTE, my death is completely meaningless. All I have are the people I know here and now, and the people I will encounter before I die. And that is enough.

  • @ Badlands

    Yeah, I thought of you when I saw Rapid City…

    I guess this is part of the long predicted ‘climate change will result in more frequent extreme weather events’.

    They usually happen to someone else, somewhere else, so nobody cares that much, which is understandable, because how can you ? ‘20,000 people drowned in floods in Asia’ is just a news item, unless you have relatives there, or some other connection.

    But I suppose, as the 100 year events begin to happen every year, and the patches of disaster join up, eventually the death toll will match the birth rates and then exceed them, and maybe that’s how population numbers will decline…

    This is a good example of why permaculture will not work, let alone standard agriculture. Without a relatively stable and predictable climate, if every year and season is unlike what you expect, it becomes impossible to know what to plant. The natural ecology collapses.

    Those beef farmers seem quite religious Christians going by the comments.

  • ulvfugl, Henry, (Denise perhaps, with #59?) – thanks for playing the koan game. I liked all these answers. the answer I came up with: At the speed I feel it is moving.

    Badlands – I am so sorry to hear of your terrible and harrowing ordeal! I am very glad you are OK, and I hope your son made it through OK as well, without too much trauma.

    logspirit – I hope you aren’t feeling too lonely on your stretch of beach. it is very good to stop by an hear you now and again. thank you for this:

    “Though, on a sunny day, I’ve forgotten my playful extroverted blue sun shadow. At times I am unavailable at the bottom of my convulsing ocean of tears deep in introverted shadows and lonely sorrows. Sometimes I stand on that hill peering at galaxies in the darkness, only in the darkness, sun and shadows retired… only then can I see the dim light from their billions of blazing stars. I’m sure you do this too, or you wouldn’t understand. We, and the world, have moods. Ebb and flow. Pulsations of Life and Death. So I fly kites. And watch trees. To see the invisible wind. Then I know I’m still alive.”

    more lyrics for you, logspirit, same source:

    White heat is screaming in the jungle
    Complete the motion if you stumble
    Go ask the dust for any answers
    Come back strong with 50 belly dancers

    TIAA – “Besides it seems like we are so desperate and ashamed for love and caring that we need to have the world ending before we can ask for it?”

    this makes me laugh or smile, it is so true.

    infanttyrone –

    “there’s something awfuwy skwoowy going on around here!”

  • @ mo flow

    At the speed I feel it is moving.

    I think this relates to the Be Here Now koan of Richard Alpert / Ram Dass, which I pondered so long ago that I have forgotten all about it.

    Being exactly in the now, this moment, not behind, not ahead.
    Not thinking, just being.

    This is where our body and much else always is, but our minds like to run away into the past, off into the future, into all sorts of pre-occupations.

    That’s one reason to do zazen. To realise that ‘now’. And then, if you understand how that nowness is always static, ‘the end of time’, and learn how to be completely serene and happy and fulfilled in the eternal moment, than you are released from much of the suffering.

    I trained myself to do that. It wasn’t terribly difficult. I’d say about as hard as learning to ride a bicycle or play basic guitar, you just stick at it for ten minutes every day and eventually it pays off. It’s more the ‘sticking at it’ that’s hard. People are easily distracted if they don’t get instant results, but this thing is deep, it is about subtle stuff, deep in the background, you have to learn patience and persevere. Which is good.

    After years of that, I noticed I was being quite cruel. I have this amazing mind which wants to think. This crazy mental machinery that gets excited about esoterica, like phenomenology, and epistemology, and I was telling it to remain silent. It was sad. A sad child, told to remain silent in the corner, because the fucking Buddha said so. So the koan bore fruit and exploded into… hahaha… What is consciousness ?

    This is what the Universe, the Cosmic Buddha, has made. This is what I am, the thing that is looking at itself. God looking at God. Eye to Eye. Unblinking.
    This is what I can do, the Universe does, in the Eternal Moment.

    Thing is, I have met quite a lot of buddhists in my life, and they really annoyed me, monks with shaven heads and saffron robes, and others who declared themselves buddhists even before they said hello. trying so hard to be buddhas and to be holy, and to follow the path, they had forgotten how to be human beings.

    That Buddha Dharma went to China, it met The Tao, it went to Japan, it met all kinds of Shinto, it came to the West, it met science, now it meets NTE…

    At the very centre of the spinning wheel, in theory, is the axial point, which is perfectly still, motionless. But the Taoist cart wheel has a hole, so it can fit onto a shaft and be useful. So at the centre of that wheel is emptiness.

    So, stillness and emptiness. These two qualities. These two ideas. But as abstract mental concepts they are no use. They are just more clutter in the mind. You have to apply them to your physical being. The harmonization of mind and body. And to do this takes skill, because although babies and children and animals do it naturally, most of us have lost it, and have to learn again, by doing breathing and training ourselves.

    That again is an idea. Like having the idea to swim or ride a horse. You have to actually do it. Then, once something happens and you get a reward, a wow ! an aha ! it takes off. But that part cannot be explained in words, because its an experience, non-verbal.

    It’s a long time since I did it, but I was lucky enough to grow up with horses, and I have had the experience of being on the back of a horse, no saddle or bridle, galloping flat out, many times. THAT is a buzz that no words can ever capture. Only someone else who has had the same experience can know it.

    So much is beyond words…

  • @ mo flow


    50 belly dancers – that’s more than enough energy to keep my flashlight charged and beaming! What would I ever do with all the extra gyrations? Is there a way to preserve them? No don’t. That would be like butterflies pinned to a cork board under a glass plate a hundred years ago wanting to fly again. I’m sure that’s what they’re thinking about as the dust piles on.

    Anyway, yes, we must carry our heads high or risk getting suffocated in grief. Sometimes I resort to the ‘fix’ of thinking of each day as a whole unto itself. By taking the chain of time out of context that way, by limiting focus to individual links, to moments, wearing present blinders, a semblance of sanity may be maintained… in a fractured crazy way. Now it seems we’ve gone from searching for the missing link to discovering the last link.

    Hell yeah, bring out the belly dancers! Break the glass. Take this pin from my heart, let me fly. Let the world witness the grace of a dead butterfly.

  • ulvfugl –

    “So much is beyond words…”

    oh, thank you so much for that fine tour of words! that was wonderful.

    yes, the *idea* the *living experience* and the *just not giving a flying fuck about it* – I am always moving back and forth between these three things. and I know exactly what you mean about being cruel! – keeping mind on a cruel leash. I played, seriously, with the zazen now of being for a long time. at some point, it was just like – well, OK, time to let things run free again. I can always come back to now, whenever, just close my eyes, or feel my feet on the floor, but I don’t worry anymore about whether I am being here-now or not. I am more interested in whether I am living joyfully or not. usually, pretty effortlessly, I am. I cannot ask for more. but then there is always more to live! and always more to just be. relaxing on the beach of doom – I have found this to be an exceedingly nice place to relax.

    i do stay with my meditation almost daily – taking it more or less intensely as the ebb and flow seems to want to go, sometimes pushing beyond limits, sometimes just basically falling asleep. it just isn’t important to me to get anywhere. and then again I find that, oh well, what do I know, there is just new stuff now *everywhere.* that works for me!

    that very center of the wheel, yes, it is meant for an axle, and a cart, and an ox – or horses! but no sad children! only happy children at play. :)

    myself, I have never been drawn to anything like a traditional buddhist study center, or traditional buddhist students or monks – at least as i have met them in my limited American experience. I have had more than one opportunity, but it never appealed. but I have had some very lovely smiles from a robbed monk or two from time to time – really quite lovely! and then I have heard a buddhist give a lecture from a small platform to a small audience and I lasted about 90 seconds.

    “This is what I can do, the Universe does, in the Eternal Moment” hell YES. you have no idea how this resonates with me. again, thank you. it is good to hear, and you do it very very well.

    the links you have sent my way, like this one again, are just amazing. thank you so much. btw, reading much more about Tiller and his philosophy when I had the chance, it *really* resonated – pretty much identical to what i was getting at, on multiple deeper levels. that was great to see. and he is also very matter of fact about the multiple levels of influence involved – guides and so on. all very cool – definitely a kindred spirit, and I’d like to learn much more of his ideas.

    one thing: you mentioned you were maybe skeptical about his presentation of the different spheres of mind/emotion/consciousness etc – personally, this seemed extremely on target to me. especially when he talked about the power of what can happen when the two main interface layers are operating in coherence. I have seen this in action. it is instantly mind-boggling, effortless, and absolutely beyond words. When Tiller describes that idea of coherence, and how it fits into his larger model, something really clicks. it feels dead on target.

    buzz buzz buzz

  • logspirit – “Let the world witness the grace of a dead butterfly.”

    aw, man, that is so exquisitely beautiful.

  • actually, if they had been robbed monks, they were handling it exceptionally well.

  • @ mo flow

    Thank you.

    “So much is beyond words…”

    Tao te Ching. Wittgenstein. Derrida’s logocentrism. Etc.

    yes, the *idea* the *living experience* and the *just not giving a flying fuck about it* – I am always moving back and forth between these three things. and I know exactly what you mean about being cruel! – keeping mind on a cruel leash. I played, seriously, with the zazen now of being for a long time. at some point, it was just like – well, OK, time to let things run free again.

    Yes. I think there is a time for absolute and total self discipline, to learn what that means. To have complete self-control. To remain absolutely still for long periods. That’s what hunters had to do. The aches and pains and desire to scratch and all the little stimuli that have to be resisted, and all the mental phenomena that come and go. And to fast for a long time. The agony of hunger and desperation for water. And going without sleep. Keep on going through those barriers to see how much can be endured. I’ve done it often, voluntarily, and involuntarily, hahaha, to see what is learned.

    The Buddha did that too, for seven years it is said, before realising it was a mistake. But of course it wasn’t ‘a mistake’, because so much is learned.

    But there’s the right way to do this. Different schools have different standards. You know, a Great Master could boast, ‘We are very strict, we have the highest standards, more than half our pupils die before they reach Enlightenment’ Or very low standards ‘We accept anyone, let them do whatever they want, nobody ever gets Enlightened, they all spend their time getting drunk and stoned and having sex and eating and sleeping’. ;-)

    But I am not a Great Master nor do I teach nor do I care whether anyone becomes Enlightened. I only try to explain what I have found and am finding and how I found it.

    I can always come back to now, whenever, just close my eyes, or feel my feet on the floor, but I don’t worry anymore about whether I am being here-now or not. I am more interested in whether I am living joyfully or not. usually, pretty effortlessly, I am. I cannot ask for more. but then there is always more to live! and always more to just be. relaxing on the beach of doom – I have found this to be an exceedingly nice place to relax.

    Hahaha, well, I don’t care about being joyful, either. Some days I am gloomy and sad. I am a human being. If it seems to need attention, then I can attend to it. What is this gloom and sorrow ?

    You see, I trained to shoot my kundalini up my spine and open my God chakra etc and have intense ecstatic bliss, and keep that. But what the heck is being ecstatic all day GOOD for ? I mean that’s what everybody says they WANT. Well, it’s not that hard to find and get and keep. But then what ?

    Same for acid trips. Everybody raves about their trip and wants more of THAT. Well, I had to take methysergide for my CH, for a few years, which is related to LSD, although not quite as hallucinogenic, but also extremely dangerous, like you can die at any time, because I was also overdosing on other drugs which were making a lethal combination.

    So, not only did I have to spend all day with the thought that I could die at any moment from the fucking medicine causing a spasm in a major blood vessel going to heart or brain or something, but if I turned my head or moved my eyes quickly it would trigger a string of visual hallucinations so I’d have fucking miscellaneous goblins wearing trails of sparkling islamic art and sharks with furry hats jumping out of the walls, all that crap all day long, which is great fun if you’ve never done mushrooms before, but I can tell the whole world, it is the most boring thing after a week and you just wish it would stop. But it does teach a lot about epistemology and ontology and phenomenology and shamanism, etcetera :-)

    i do stay with my meditation almost daily – taking it more or less intensely as the ebb and flow seems to want to go, sometimes pushing beyond limits, sometimes just basically falling asleep. it just isn’t important to me to get anywhere. and then again I find that, oh well, what do I know, there is just new stuff now *everywhere.* that works for me!

    Yes. I think it’s like beach combing. Lots of odd things turn up, then there’s nothing for half a mile, then something startling you’ve never seen before, then a load of old junk, then more magic…

    btw, reading much more about Tiller and his philosophy when I had the chance, it *really* resonated – pretty much identical to what i was getting at, on multiple deeper levels. that was great to see. and he is also very matter of fact about the multiple levels of influence involved – guides and so on. all very cool – definitely a kindred spirit, and I’d like to learn much more of his ideas.

    Re Bill Tiller, you’re ahead of me. I’ll try to catch up, maybe later today even. That one I posted here I liked well enough, most of it made a lot of sense to me…


  • Thanks for all the comments, everybody, I have really enjoyed reading through them.

    I just had an idea:

    Imagine if the group of people that goes to Mars for a reality TV show with supplies to last the rest of their lives outlives the last of the humans on Earth…!

  • U – “Some days I am gloomy and sad. I am a human being. If it seems to need attention, then I can attend to it. What is this gloom and sorrow ?”

    the Welsh gene? :)

  • @Grant We’ve been trained to ignore other people, to take care of ourselves, but without each other we are surely doomed. We need each other, and that need is considered a weakness..All I have are the people I know here and now, and the people I will encounter before I die. And that is enough.

    Every act is just an attempt to buy some time, to put off the inevitable. When we are connected like this, my heart goes out to the world, but in survival mode, my world becomes very, very small, that which falls within the illumination of a flickering candle, those I can hold close, the babies who depend on me.

    Sometimes when we do our philosophizing here, I start getting this kind of icky feeling, like, since I am more ‘aware’ of the dire nature of our global situation, I am some kind of elite, somehow more worthy of life.

    That is completely shameful to me, and so I have started doing a mental exercise, to keep that nastiness in check. I imagine myself voicing those thoughts to the people I encounter, interactions that involve me saying, “I deserve to live, and you do not.”

    Sure, people piss me off to no end, and baby rapers deserve to die a grisly death, but for the average person, no matter their faults, I will never say that, I will never act that out. And so I am resigned to die with the sheep. I am ok with that. It’s been interesting hashing these things out, but really it’s just a form of reaching out in the vast loneliness that is life. I appreciate your kindness, Grant, and now that I have a breather, I’m going to look you up to get my Judas Goat fix!

    @ulvfugl You know, I’ve lived here for eight years now, and every season has been so wildly different, I never know what to expect. Climate chaos, weather whiplash, whatever you want to call it, it is here in full force. I feel so grateful not to live where there are hurricanes or cyclones, but man, I can’t help but hurt for those poor people who do.

    @moflow Thank you for your sentiments. The situation was one I’ve been in many times growing up in Alaska, but having a medical situation with my son changed the whole game. And you should’ve heard the trees! I would open up the door to air out some of the smoke that the winds were pushing back through the fireplace (which I’ve only had to use in this one emergency), and it sounded like shotguns being fired. It’s a real mess out there, with rain and high wind & flooding advisories, but we are safe, so I am thankful. Another day to appreciate this crazy beautiful planet.

    @logspirit Break the glass. Take this pin from my heart, let me fly. Let the world witness the grace of a dead butterfly.

    Simply stunning.

  • Does anyone know the effects of radiation on Jellyfish? I’ll research it but… just in case someone here knows.

  • @ Diamond

    Did you ever read The Martian Chronicles?

  • @Woodsdweller

    No but maybe I will now! Thanks

  • @ Badlands
    Thanks. Actually just before ‘submitting’ I thought that last post wasn’t good enough to put out… sometimes junk slips through to my chagrin. Maybe my filters are a bit mixed up. Amazingly, the more literary risk I take the more folks here seem to like it. Perhaps it isn’t so much my writing, but this audience that deserves praise for willingness to take the journey with me. Sincere thanks. I may release a collection of unpublished work. Postmortem. Perhaps the notion will discourage assassins.

  • @ mo flow

    the Welsh gene?

    NO, mo flow, it’s a serious point, we’re all drowning in a morass of ideas, an ocean of spaghetti, almost impossible to untangle, I’m trying to explain a way out..

    What I mean, we have a human nature, just as birds and animals, crows, foxes, each have their nature. Chickens are happy when the sun shines and they have a dust bath, miserable when it is wet and windy.

    I am a human being, I permit my own nature. Because of the the yogic practices, I can have mastery of my internal states. This was not always so. Once i would be constantly swept all over the place by anger or depression or jealousy or whatever. Up and down on a helter skelter constantly off balance, any thought or event could upset me.

    It took a long time to find stability that was impervious to any event.

    But that is not human nature. That’s a stone buddha.

    Still have not get around to Tiller. Later.

    @ Badlands

    Family farms here lost all their cattle because of foot and mouth disease, herds that went back over generations. Hell of a thing for them.

  • Great comment

    first day of Advanced Art, my teacher said “i bet none of you know an artist who is currently alive” I Raised my hand and said “Banksy” he shook his head and said he wasn’t an artist, that when I knew He wasn’t a real art teacher.

  • @logspirit

    I may release a collection of unpublished work.
    Perhaps the notion will discourage assassins.

    Thanks for that.
    Not sure of zen terminology, but could the first line be a koan ?
    Or something Steven Wright came up with & discarded.

    At any rate, the whole reminded me of Groucho’s line:
    “Hey, don’t drink that poison…that’s $4 an ounce!”

    As you were…

  • Truckers protest at the Capitol

    @ mo flow

    I’ve watched a lot of Tiller stuff now.

    I completely accept the chi part, re the meridians, because I know that works and is amazing, from direct personal experience, and it’s been known for thousands of years in esoteric wisdom traditions.

    About the other stuff he talks about, I really don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be any independent verification. He talks about his ‘Imprinted intention hosting device’ that gets plugged into an electrical source, but he never explains what that is, or what imprinting means or how any of it works.

    I’m fairly suspicious, ‘if it sounds too good to be true it probably is’, and although he’s buddies with Tom Campbell, who talks in much the same vein, I listened to Tom Campbell for a long time before I began to find little things that made me doubt parts of his theories…

    I’d be more enthusiastic if some other quantum physicist came along with a lot of support. I didn’t find any yet.

  • ulvfugl – I haven’t looked into Tom Campbell’s work or ideas at all yet, so no opinion there. Tiller has been doing his RNG experiments for a long time, with apparently significant results. his RNG work, ages ago it seems, was one of the first “fringe” results that really got me wondering about things outside of my previous materialist worldview. if you are waiting for other researchers to spend the kind of effort Tiller has, and then come forward with any kind of confirmation, you may be waiting a long time.

    as you know, it is forbidden for anyone researching mind/consciousness, who wants to appear “serious,” to talk about anything that has even the slightest hint of (traditional) non-material causality.

    re that link you mentioned above on the hard problem of consciousness – if any theory or research posits anything that is outside the mainstream understanding of neurons, chemistry and physics, it is just dismissed as “magic.” Tiller makes the fatal mistake of not just thinking and talking about new things that could be in the more traditional material realm, but also talking about soul and spirit.

    once that is done, forget it! no one is going to go near his ideas, ever!

    the wall is complete. as Hanlon mentions in that article, the hard problem of consciousness makes all other problems of science pale in comparison. nothing even comes close:

    And I think it is possible that, compared with the hard problem, the rest of science is a sideshow. Until we get a grip on our own minds, our grip on anything else could be suspect. It’s hard, but we shouldn’t stop trying. The head of that bird on the rooftop contains more mystery than will be uncovered by our biggest telescopes or atom smashers. The hard problem is still the toughest kid on the block.

    science has stopped trying, long ago, simply because, in the most delicious of ironies, it has made certain subjects as deeply forbidden as the church once made some subjects forbidden. it is totally hilarious!

    i used to think this state of affairs was sad and frustrating, but obviously things have to work out this way for the human experiment. NTE could only have been possible if the fatal flaws were buried so deeply in the human “way of things” that we could never escape. obviously, they are! the “most brilliant minds on the planet” have completely walled themselves out of contact with, oh, maybe 99% of what really matters, and they will *never* admit that they have done so, ever.

    piles and piles of research on NDEs, OBEs, RNGs and everything else along these lines has been dismissed as if it does not exist, is just “magical thinking,” must be flawed in a hundred ways so I won’t even bother looking at it, or is, perhaps, secretly very interesting, but I am too afraid of being laughed at by my peers, so I don’t dare even think I am interested, let alone admit to anyone that I actually am.

    seriously, i can imagine the most unexplainable, uncanny and science-boggling events unfolding on the Earth plane, and this not having one iota of impact on currently acceptable approaches to scientific speculation. it has just been socio-culturally banned, – totally. everywhere that matters.

    the work and ideas of Tiller and others have been there for appraisal, for a long long time. we missed our chance to have that discussion. now, we are more married than ever to the materialist paradigm. if any of these “great minds” took a serious look over the wall at this point, they would be so horrified at the implications of what they glimpsed, the very fabric of whatever holds their personalities together would instantly collapse. of that I have no doubt.

    confronted with the hard problem of consciousness, the fatal hubris of humanity is more revealed than almost anywhere else (with the exception of that “one FREE miracle” of course!). we have consigned our scientific thinking to the bottom of the grave already.

    it is time for new things.

  • Wow! This thread!

    I love it when amazing minds reveal themselves, and rather than the reductionist minimalism that most people feeling alone out in the mundane world adopt, to let fly the birds (or butterflies) of the prose imagination, and see how they propel themselves onward, and are heard by many, thus transmitting forward the various inspirations that you have received in your lifetime.

    @ulvfugl — wasn’t the Santa Mierda clip hilarious? I thought it was a lucky find, after you’d introduced me to the concept.