What I have learned, what we should be thankful for, what remains to be done

by Geoffrey Chia, a Cardiologist based in Brisbane, Australia. He sent this essay to the supporters of his D3SJ group as a prelude to discontinuing their meetings after November. His previous article in this space is here.

McPherson apologizes for the format of this essay. In the absence of decent technical skills or an assistant, this is the best way he can quickly post the essay and retain the content. Click each page for easy viewing or see the pdf here

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McPherson’s monthly contribution for Transition Voice was posted Monday, 14 October 2013. It’s here.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013, 6:00 p.m., Visual Arts Complex Auditorium, Colorado University, Boulder, Colorado, How Do We Act in the Face of Climate Chaos? Description here.

Boulder Colorado October 2013Transition Voice, How to respond to climate chaos”300″ class=”aligncenter size-medium wp-image-5544″ />

Saturday, 19 October 2013, Boulder, Colorado. Workshop. Details forthcoming.

Comments 238

  • @artleads
    That is an interesting note about human brain size shrinking compared to 20,000 years ago, and the similar effect in domesticated animals. I think one of the problems we have had coming up with a real response to climate change and ecological problems is that we who live in industrialized countries, have all been “raised in captivity”. We have know idea how to survive without civilization. Literally. We are like the hawk, always fed by hand who cannot survive in the wild.

  • How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?

    Recent warnings that this greenhouse gas could cost us $60 trillion have received widespread publicity. But many scientists are skeptical.

    —By Chris Mooney, Mother Jones magazine
    | Thu Aug. 8, 2013 3:00
    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/08/arctic-methane-hydrate-catastrophe

    ===

    So there’s at least a lot of uncertainty as to how bad or how soon/fast methane might bubble up from the sea up there in the North.

    This leaves aside the question of land based peat bog melting. I’ll continue to research both. But my focus is going to the peat bogs / soil, land based releases for the moment.

    It seems that these concerns, both of land and sea, or real and important, but that it MAY be that these methane releases should prove to be much more gradual and slow than folks in NBL tend to think. It seems likely from my researching so far that these events will unfold much more slowly than Guy seems to think. Over centuries. And if the inertia (etc.) works in our favor in this way, perhaps we can figure out how to address the crisis before runaway catastrophic disaster occurs (such as NTE … Or even LTE.)

  • Melting Permafrost Will Boost Temps, But Not Quickly
    October 5th, 2012
    Climate Central
    http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/melting-permafrost-will-boost-temps-but-not-much-this-century-15083

    ” [….] When researches try to figure out how high the thermometer will go over the next century or two, it’s important to figure in these so-called feedbacks into their calculations. But they don’t fully understand how feedbacks will play out.

    A recent study in Nature Geoscience is helping reduce some of that uncertainty. By 2100, say Andrew MacDougall and his co-authors, the melting of Arctic permafrost will release enough carbon dioxide to boost global temperatures by up to an extra half a degree Fahrenheit, and by 2300, the extra heating could add up to as much as 3°F.”

    ===

    This article is flawed by its non-mention of methane (!) Who has good data on potential methane releases from land based permafrost?

  • @ James Martin

    Can’t you move on?

    Happy to. Once you learn a little humility and respect. You’re posting OLD stuff that has ALREADY been discussed and showing YOUR ignorance and your egotism.

    There was a savage battle over that $60 trillion report which I and others followed in detail. The fact that you slept through it all says EXACTLY where you are at.

    It seems likely from my researching so far that these events will unfold much more slowly than Guy seems to think.

    See ? You’re being offensive and presumptuous. You havn’t even BEGUN to get on top of the research, you’re in no position to draw ANY conclusion, and you’re insulting GUY.

    Before you criticise MY attitude, try fixing your own.

    The reason that I’m here is because THIS blog has been way ahead of the curve on everything. You were far behind on NTE ning. You’re STILL far behind. If you want help to catch up, that’s one thing. To come here and act superior and critical and selling fake hopium is something else.

    How do I KNOW ?

    Because you make dumb statements like

    …perhaps we can figure out how to address the crisis before runaway catastrophic disaster occurs

    Because you still have not twigged that catastrophic disaster is happening NOW.

    Probably because it has not happened to YOU. Yet.

    Anyway, we’ve heard all this before from many other people, some much smarter than you. You were going to study the biochar. That’s quite enough for one person and lifetime.

    Now it’s going to be the permafrost. Ok, tell me. You want to be the hero who saves us all, How are you going to stop it from melting ?

  • I suppose it could be, because it really is dangerously close – right behind the eyeballs.

    What’s “behind the eyeballs” ain’t any closer than the remotest galaxy. They are all “of”s in “awareness of”: the “behind”, the “the eyeballs”, the “remotest” and the “galaxy”.

    But dropping the “of”s and turning the “awareness”on itself can be, depending on one’s state of apparent “progress”, a gargantuan task. (There really is no “progress”; one is at home plate in the beginning and the end, and at all bases in-between, although tradition has it that it takes 84 million embodiments.) However it is effortless for a very few: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God”. And there are many paths up the mountain to its peak.

    The 400 ppm. atmospheric CO2 by paleoclimate data correlates with a temperature higher by 4°C+, and a MSL (mean sea level) rise of 23 metres (~23+ yards, ~75+ feet). The several decade lag in full manifestation of the effects of the CO2 rise, if taken into account, changes the frame of the discussion. Either the time lag or the paleoclimate data could be discredited to make the first chink in the armour of NTE. Without that, the rest is moot.

    Can’t you move on?

    In that instance: Hell no.

    Psychopathy is no more a mental “illness” in its milieu than breathing air is for aquatic reptiles, mammals and birds, or eating autotrophs is for heterotrophs. It is a superb adaptation to the milieu of hierarchical society.

    In a hierarchy, the transactions are vertical, coercive, always with the threat of violence in the background. Empathy is superfluous, although a pretence of empathy can be used to advantage. In a community, the interactions (of which only a few are transactions) are horizontal and voluntary (non-coercive). Empathy is the glue that holds community together, whereas the promise of rations plus the threat of violence enforces hierarchy. Psychopathy is an asset in a society, but will promptly be recognised as an illness in a community. To be effective, a psychopath has to have good social skills, including a pretence of empathy. That makes for progress towards the ruling elite. Absent such skills the psychopath is a sociopath. That makes for a common criminal.

  • Robin – “behind the eyeballs” – what I am referring to is simply the doorway that begins this particular journey of discovery, or re-initiates the journey one or more times in a particular lifetime. the doorway is right there, all the time. it is really the closest thing there is, and it is certainly not as remote as the remotest galaxy.

    now, as for what the ultimate goal of this journey is, then yes, it is simultaneously infinitely further away than the remotest galaxy, and also, again, right there behind the eyeballs.

    psychopathy would not be a superb adaptation to a hierarchical society if it ultimately destroyed said society. for any parasitic life form that intends to perpetuate its genome, killing the *only* host that exists is never a superb adaptation.

  • ulvfugl,

    I can only remember one occasion when it could be argued that you tried to respond to me as an equal (assuming you are a moderately intelligent adult). Your technique to those who disagree with you is usually to insult them, either directly or indirectly. It may work with some, though I can’t think why, but it does nothing for me, because I’m a moderately intelligent adult.

    Did you notice that the Arctic actually went through a cold period this year? A number of Arctic news sites that I frequent have stated that. It does actually get colder up there, on occasion. Do you understand what equilibrium sensitivity is? If all forcings (as distinct from feedbacks) stop, the surface temperature, and the global temperature, will reach an equilibrium state and, probably, all permafrost will not melt. How much melting is built in? No-one knows. Let me repeat that. No-one knows. Why do you think you know? I’ve discussed this (on-line) with some climate scientists and they don’t know. So why do you think you know everything about permafrost dynamics, and the dynamics of all feedbacks that may or may not occur? Haven’t you noticed that the climate system holds surprises?

    No, I’m not holding my breath for a miracle, I’m merely pointing out that very few of the listed feedbacks have actually been shown to be triggered and almost none of them are as well understood as you seem to think. That’s why they aren’t included in models, yet. Yes, that could mean the models are underestimating all the time but that isn’t necessarily always going to be true.

    I have certainly seen enough science to suggest that the current extinction may accelerate before the end of the century but nothing to say that it is certain, even by then. Does it matter if it’s in 50 years, 100 years or 200 years? No, provided it actually does happen. But the longer it doesn’t happen, the more chance there is of some relief via some process (to take an extreme example, an asteroid hit or a supervolcano, or, perhaps, more mundanely, a negative feedback kicks in that moderates the rate of warming to something that some ecosystems might be able to adjust to.

    What I’m seeing in going through the list of feedbacks is that it is not as cut and dried as you seem to think. It’s also not as cut and dried as Guy seems to think. And that is not an insult to Guy, as you claimed in your response to James R. Martin; no one has a monopoly on the truth and we’re all entitled to our opinion.

    Personally, whatever you may think my motives are or my mental age is, I genuinely seek to understand what our future may hold. What it will definitely hold is unknown, despite your apparent certainty. I wish I could be as certain as you, because it would make my life (what’s left) much simpler. So congratulations on having a simple life – feel sorry for those who don’t have it as simple as you and who are still struggling with these ideas.

  • @ Wendi

    “That is an interesting note about human brain size shrinking compared to 20,000 years ago, and the similar effect in domesticated animals. I think one of the problems we have had coming up with a real response to climate change and ecological problems is that we who live in industrialized countries, have all been “raised in captivity”. We have know idea how to survive without civilization. Literally. We are like the hawk, always fed by hand who cannot survive in the wild.”

    The point was made by Robin. Yes, I agree with what you say about being ill equipped in every way. We might improve our abilities if we sought out people and ways of thinking outside of white, male, first world societies. Aborigines, third world people, children, women, etc. Hearing what they have to say, irrelevant as much of it might seem, could hardly be worse than not doing so.

  • @ mike k

    You said:

    “The embodiment and practice of simplicity, sharing, and love gives rise to wisdom, stability, and happiness. The inner determines the outer. Those who deeply hold these principles in their hearts and minds will find themselves in synchrony with the higher potentials of the Universe. All things around them will serve them in the best possible manner, just as they return this blessing on all they encounter. True spiritual teachings have this result as their ultimate aim. Those who have chosen to ignore, neglect, or reject this reality will reap the bitter fruit of their unwisdom.”

    I used to try to think that these ideas are true. But I never could fully buy into it…and then I fully woke up to the fact that they are just another set of distractions which keep those of us who are privileged (to live in a place without war, famine, corporate destruction, etc.) in a fantasyland rather than see our enslavement to the system. It is a pseudo-spiritual trap, designed to keep us thinking that our lifestyle and all its comforts are things we deserve- a “blessing”- because we are “good,” rather than other people’s blood and tears on our hands. Now I see it so clearly, “the bitter fruit” that indigenous people everywhere are eating while WE have been pseudo-benefitting (being drugged and sedated by entertainment and crap food) from their suffering, and we chose to live in a trance and think about love (and hope it saves the day) rather than stand up and speak truth to power. In other words, get off our spoiled, stupid asses and do something.

    I have compassion for you, because I wanted love to save us too. But it is only love in action that can change things, and we were/are too cowardly and self centered to do what is needed to be done.

    I am not sure if Ghandi counts, ulvfugl, as an example of love in action changing the course of history. I think there are many who made great efforts, acting from their love of life, that slowed or temporarily changed the course of history. But the crushing insistence of the destructive forces always plow on and push back.

    When I said we should stop accepting private property… obviously we cannot just immediately change the system. But we can be honest and speak the truth about it, and encourage – help people have the courage- to see and name the reality. That is the only beginning possible for a revolution.

    “Free your mind…What is real?”-Morpheus

    Even if there is NTE, and even if we can’t change the system, we can all die free within our own selves and in our genuine connections with life, honoring and standing for what is real.

  • @ Tony

    Do you wonder why I treat as less than the moderately intelligent adult that you judge yourself to be ? It’s because you have been here, and on other climate sites for a very long time and you learn NOTHING and make statements of the kind that you just did in this comment.

    You see, I’m happy to admit I don’t even try to be a perfect person, but sometimes I do try hard to be kind, or amusing, or generous, or sympathetic, or considerate, because I don’t think cruelty is a good thing. But you, Tony, cannot even add up 2 plus 2, can you.

    Did you notice that the Arctic actually went through a cold period this year? A number of Arctic news sites that I frequent have stated that. It does actually get colder up there, on occasion.

    I check Neven’s blog every day. And Arctic News. And Weather Underground and others. Yes, I do know what happened at the Arctic this year.

    Why did you tell me that, Tony ?

    Why do you think it has any relevance at all to anything at all that we have been discussing ?

  • @ Tony

    The point being, Tony, that it typically gets colder in the Northern Hemisphere at night, and it gets colder in the winter compared with the summer.

    But we are discussing the CLIMATE. NOT the WEATHER. Whatever happened this year, or last year, is not CLIMATE, it’s WEATHER.

    Climate means what happens over 30 years. Less than 30 years is WEATHER.

    You do not yet grasp this very simple and very elementary fact.

    Who EXPECTS Arctic warming to be a simple straight linear progression ?

    Nobody with any sense. It’s going to wobble up and down, warming and cooling. What matters is the trend. And that is inexorably warmer.

    Nobody is saying that it is going to COOL over the coming decades, or over the next century. None of the models, none of the climate scientists. It is going to warm and the permafrost is going to keep on melting and putting CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. That cycle has been triggered and it cannot be stopped.

    If all forcings (as distinct from feedbacks) stop, the surface temperature, and the global temperature, will reach an equilibrium state and, probably, all permafrost will not melt.

    This has got to be the most bizarre statement I have ever read on this blog. Of course, it is theoretically TRUE. But it’s like saying that if the Earth stopped turning and gravity switched off then we’d all go hurtling into Outer Space. Only a madman expects it to happen.

    When I read Tony’s comments, what I see is a drowning man clutching at straws, and trying desperately to weave them into a basket. Anything, rather than face the reality of the situation. Even a supervolcano or an asteroid strike turns out to be good news from Tony’s perspective.
    Just another variation of denial.

  • Not clutching at straws, ulvfugl, just trying to build a picture from the science. You may tell me what will happen but it is, in the end, just a guess.

    Your constant insults are actually insulting to you, not I, since you clearly show an inability to behave like an adult when confronted with someone who doesn’t agree with you. You say you admit to not being perfect and not knowing everything but you come across as someone who thinks he (or she) does know everything and does not tolerate any ideas that don’t seem to match yours.

    However, at least I’m providing something for you, since I appear to surprise you constantly with bizarre statements. I hope you appreciate the opportunity to vent.

    It’s a shame, because I actually find a lot of what you write quite interesting and agree with a lot of it.

  • @ Robin Datta

    The 400 ppm. atmospheric CO2 by paleoclimate data correlates with a temperature higher by 4°C+, and a MSL (mean sea level) rise of 23 metres (~23+ yards, ~75+ feet). The several decade lag in full manifestation of the effects of the CO2 rise, if taken into account, changes the frame of the discussion. Either the time lag or the paleoclimate data could be discredited to make the first chink in the armour of NTE. Without that, the rest is moot.

    Very good synopsis, in a nutshell. I think the SLR is quite slow, not many people left to see the worst of it. I think most climate scientists are clueless about the geological time scale and extinction events, as Peter Ward has pointed out.

    @ Tony

    But it’s not a guess, Tony, it only appears to be a guess to you because you have NO UNDERSTANDING, and the reason I treat you the way I do, is because your conceit is so great that you cannot see or admit that.

    You are not providing me with anything at all, are you. I’d much prefer to discuss the 25 feedbacks with someone who actually understood, and then we could argue about the actual details that are worthy of dispute. You’re not equipped to do that. Trying to explain anything to you is endless frustration and time wasting.

    It isn’t even a matter of ‘what will happen’ it’s a matter of ‘what IS happening’, and what has been measured and observed in the past, and what is being measured and being observed now, and what the results of this WILL BE.

    You see, it’s very difficult to dispute about basic stuff like the melting of ice, which is dependent upon temperature. If the temperature goes up, it is going to melt. That’s a fundamental principle.

    Have you got any argument to suggest that global average temperature is going to go DOWN over the next, say, 40 years ?

    Of course you have not. What we know, from the highest reputable scientific sources, there’s a time lag, between emissions and temperature increase, of 40 years.

    That means, the average global temperature today results from emissions 40 years ago.

    Since 40 years ago, emissions have steadily risen. That means that temperature will rise for the next 40 years whatever we do.

    So, there is warming in the pipeline, even if we could switch off emissions today.

    But, we are not switching off emissions today, are we, they are increasing faster than ever. The prospects LOOK as if they will continue to increase, because, as I’ve said, none of the industrialised nations, or the corporations, have any intentions of stopping them.

    However, theoretically, there is the possibility that manmade emissions from fossil fuels COULD stop at some future time. Perhaps because of the collapse of IC or a pandemic or whatever, the reason doesn’t matter, just assume they stop.

    As far as I can tell, from Kevin Anderson and Hansen and others, we STILL top 2 deg C, we still have more than that around the N. polar regions, we still have the permafrost melting, and we still have the CO2 and methane coming into the atmosphere.

    Basically, we have wrecked the climate, and it does not become stable again, whatever we do. Not for tens of thousands of years.

    Now, to return to the problem of cutting the fossil fuel emissions.
    Imo, people who think this can happen are kidding themselves.
    I know there are optimists who claim that nuclear or solar or whatever will ‘save’ us. I don’t agree. It’s an extremely wearisome and boring argument.

    Without oil and coal, the present (and oncoming) population cannot be supported, so anybody who stands on a political platform to cut the oil supply is saying that their people are going to have to suffer severe cutbacks in their standard of living and aspirations, which means health, food, money, jobs, meaning they starve, get ill, and die.

    Nobody will voluntarily vote for that. Billions of people will fight back rather than die, and they will find leaders who will articulate their cause and assemble forces to try to satisfy their demands. This is, indeed, happening.

    What’s more, the richest and most powerful entities on Earth, the banks and the oil corporations have vast investments in oil, gas, coal, and are not just going to fold that all up and go away. Anybody who thinks they are is delusional.

    So, although we can look at the methane and CO2 and permafrost as an isolated component of the Earth system, in terms of the science, that’s not very useful as far as estimating future prospects, because so much depends on human responses.

    According to Kevin Anderson, China’s peaking emissions around 2030 pretty much guarantees we get to 6 deg C later this century, which means much of the planet become uninhabitable for humans. It would also mean, incidentally, that it is way above 6 deg C in the permafrost regions. It means Central Europe becomes like N. Africa.

    Now, regarding NTE, remember, this methane and permafrost thing is only ONE smallish PART of what’s happening.

    We are going into a mass extinction event. This is not a guess, or some sort of wild prediction based upon some mystical prognostication like Nostradamus. Anybody who looks at previous extinction events in the geological record can see the pattern.

    What has happened, the result of natural causes, has usually taken thousands of years to occur. This time it’s happening over decades.

  • Grant: I most certainly wasn’t trying to indicate that climate change is wrong or even affected by the article (I thought I spelled that out with “not that it applies to NTE,” guess you missed that) – but it does affect things like drug trials and probably the stuff Monsanto and others do. All it points out is that HUMANS are flawed in every endeavor they undertake and that at least scientists are learning to correct their biases and that the peer review process helps to identify and correct non-reproducible experiments by it’s process of verification through repetition and multiple studies of the same phenomena.

    islandraider: what a depressing article. i’m turned to ash inside as a result of reading how the vast ocean is being decimated by our carelessness, deadly fishing practices, pollution and the rest. People don’t even know, and now we add Fukushima’s deadly particles to the already dying mix. It’s beyond sad – it’s tragic. Thanks for the post, nonetheless.

  • mo flow writes: “and of course there is all sorts of nonsense practices and popular misunderstandings that can be pawned off as creative visualization, just like there is all sorts of other nonsense practices and misunderstandings that can be pawned off as science.”

    Yes, and one those nonsense practices is called psychology. This isn’t to say there are no benefits to people who believe in it, just as astrology can have benefits for some people. But it’s not science. Psychology has mainly been a method to swindle lonely people out of their money. A sympathetic bartender is worth more than a college full of psychologists.

    If you strongly believe thinking about a professor will give you a higher test score you are practicing in magic. If you get a score higher than you thought you would, then the magic worked. Mentioning athletes –one of the more superstitious groups around — does not bolster your argument, it bolsters mine. Zodiac chart readings are just as good as most psychological studies. And just as useful.

    Tom: yes I was reacting to the article which I found to be smugly written and it kept coming up with examples that showed how science DID in fact correct past errors and it pissed me off. Sorry, didn’t mean to direct that ire at you.

  • Robin:

    The error with your analysis is the anthropomorphic lens through which you attempt to critique the motivations of others.

  • I am reasonably sure that a healthy woman thinking about a large erect penis hanging from a handsome & healthy man could very well be sexually aroused, as in cows eat grass.

  • It has been reported that financially strapped free will Mericans are selling their body parts for income.

    Some wise arse types have suggested that the body part sellers imagine delicious food from Safeway & it helps them make the agonizing decision by using their free will in the free marketplace.

    http://sabbah.biz/mt/

  • “There was a savage battle over that $60 trillion report which I and others followed in detail. The fact that you slept through it all says EXACTLY where you are at.”

    ulvfugl,

    I want to set aside the unnecessary personality stuff and talk about science. Just science. Can we do that?

    Where did this “savage battle” take place? Have you got links?

    My only point was that there is UNCERTAINTY concerning the prognosis of unstoppable doom. This uncertainty is well recognized by the climate science community.

    The unstoppable doom hypothesis is a very marginal minority opinion, so it makes no sense whatsoever to fling crap at people who disagree with your minority position, expecting to win an argument on bluster. What is called for … is much more than what you have offered.

    It is telling that you didn’t even offer links or citations while offering personal attacks and personality bluster. I don’t care what you think about anyone’s personality here. What I want from you is pointers to the debate you say has taken place. I want to read the debate — not just your opinions about it.

  • @ Tony

    Here we have Dr. Mcpherson’s No.1 (as helpfully listed by PMB above)

    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).

    Here’s the Guardian link, for the convenience of anyone who wants to look. A second update came later, if I remember rightly.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/jul/24/arctic-ice-free-methane-economy-catastrophe?INTCMP=SRCH

    Now, you want to claim that this is not happening ?

    Or, you want to claim that this is not a problem ?

    Or, you want to claim that this MIGHT not be a problem ?

    Or what is it that you want to claim ?

    Because, for me, what this says, is that there is an irreversible positive feedback going on.

    Warming has triggered release of methane which will in turn cause more warming which will cause more release of methane, and on and on…

    There is NO WAY OF STOPPING THIS.

    The atmospheric methane has been around 700 ppb for 400,000 years, if my memory serves correctly, and since 1900, has zoomed up to what it is now, over 2000 ppb.

    THIS IS A CATASTROPHE.

    You, of course, can’t see it. I know that.

    But others who understand what the data means CAN.

    The Unfolding Methane Catastrophe

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2013/10/unfolding-methane-catastrophe.html#comment-form

  • “‘A newly discovered [methane] source is not necessarily a changing source, much less a source that is changing in response to Arctic warming,’ they wrote. The implication is that perhaps methane has always been in the water at such levels, without methane hydrates having been disturbed—rather, the methane may be from another source. According to one 2011 study, for instance, the observed methane probably came not from hydrates, but simply from “the permafrost’s still adjusting to its new aquatic conditions, even after 8,000 years.” The hydrates, in contrast, are thought to be much deeper below the sea surface, due to basic physical constraints on their formation and stability. According to the US Geological Survey, “in permafrost areas, methane hydrate is not stable until about 225 m depth.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/08/arctic-methane-hydrate-catastrophe

    ====

    So what is your answer to this objection? Do we KNOW that this methane wasn’t bubbling up a hundred, or two hundred, years ago? Or do we merely speculate about it?

    If a great debate has raged on about this, show it to us. Let’s peer in on the actual debate (among scientists) itself, please.

  • @ Christy C.

    Yes. I share your view, re the privileged.

    And good point re Ghandi. It’s an arguable case. Can you call that love, or just non-violence as a strategy ? Lierre Keith said he only won because the British knew that if they didn’t negotiate with him, they’d have to face the hardline violent movement that stood behind him. I forget what they were called. Also, the Brits couldn’t afford to keep India anyway, having pissed away all their wealth on two wars against Germany, so they needed to hand it over to someone.

    @ J. Martin

    Where did this “savage battle” take place? Have you got links?

    You want more links ? You going to thank me for the links I provided for you earlier ? Did you read them ? Did you digest the contents ? Are you now informed and up to date on the information contained therein ?
    Want to discuss it ?

    My only point was that there is UNCERTAINTY concerning the prognosis of unstoppable doom. This uncertainty is well recognized by the climate science community.

    The climate science community is not homogenous. There are only a few strong independent voices with integrity. A lot of establishment shills and a lot people keeping their heads down because they are afraid for their careers and a lot of people spreading propaganda and a lot of clueless technicians with a very narrow focus and very limited knowledge of anything else.

    Cimate is not the only reason why we get unstoppable doom, is it.

    The unstoppable doom hypothesis is a very marginal minority opinion, so it makes no sense whatsoever to fling crap at people who disagree with your minority position, expecting to win an argument on bluster. What is called for … is much more than what you have offered.

    Hahaha, I don’t argue with anybody except here. There’s no point in trying to change people’s views if there is NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE.

    That is my position. You don’t understand or accept it. I explained it to you on NTE ning. Billions of people are going to die prematurely, and neither you nor I can change that. Whether we win or lose an argument about it, makes no difference. None at all.

    Eventually, EVERYBODY is going to understand this, because it’ll be a matter of stepping over bodies in their streets, so they won’t be able to pretend any more. But all I can do here, is explain to people what is happening now, what is going to happen, and why it is going to happen.

    If you disagree, fine. There’s hundreds and hundreds of blogs and forums for people with agendas to ‘save the planet’ whatever. This is the ONLY blog where people accept that what we face is NTE.

    So, go and argue with people on the other blogs as to the best way to do your ‘saving’. I’m long past bothering with that. I’ll argue with you here, if you make claims that make no sense to me.

    It is telling that you didn’t even offer links or citations while offering personal attacks and personality bluster. I don’t care what you think about anyone’s personality here. What I want from you is pointers to the debate you say has taken place. I want to read the debate — not just your opinions about it.

    Garbage. If it wasn’t for Guy having requested civility, I’d have roasted your miserable corpse on a spit by now. Why should I help you at all ? Any good reason to offer ? Because you’re too lazy to find stuff yourself ? If you want something from me, then perhaps you might try asking for it very politely.

    I’ve got all the info on all the topics that interest me at my fingertips, because I take an interest and work at this stuff every single day.

    What’s your motive ? What do you want to achieve ? What do you want to do ? Tell me that, maybe I’ll point you in a helpful direction, if I can.

  • When I go searching for relevant info and data on the risk of an Arctic methane “bomb” (whether or not such a word or description is used), I find discussion and debate which, at most, shows a great deal of uncertainty on the topic. Scientific uncertainty. Not just speculative blogger — or journalistic — uncertainty. Most of the scientists, it seems from what I’ve read, are very doubtful that a sudden and catastrophic belch, burp, bomb… (by whatever name) ranks high in plausibility, much less probablity.

    E.g.:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/sep/05/jury-out-arctic-methane-catastrophe-risk-real

    For this reason Mr. Ulvfugl vastly overstates the factual basis for his opinion on this matter. Ulvfugl at least implied that there had been a great debate on this matter and that the trend had shifted away from the rampant skepticism among qualified experts in the relevant science.

    Notice that he’s not forthcoming with any actual data or evidence in support of his strident opinion.

    What MAY be the case is that the Arctic region may continue to warm over centuries, much more slowly than a burp or bomb or what-have-you scenario. Methane is likely to be released — but on a very different time frame than stated or implied by Ulvfugl. It also MAY be right, what Ulvfugl states or implies. But instead of offering evidence and support, argument and counterargument, Ulvfugl goes on personal attack mode, calling those who disagree with him names, suggesting they are lacking in genuine interest or intelligence.

    Fortunately, this isn’t how science is done.

  • There is only one thing to do if you/ we believe all this to be true.
    Drop everything.
    Gather up your loved ones.
    Take to the streets,
    Everyone
    Stay there.
    Who has the courage ?
    Or should we just quietly disappear.?

  • James R. Martin, it’s worth checking the scientific literature now and then. Consider this quote from an author of a paper in Nature in July 2013: 50-Gigaton “burp” of methane is “highly possible at any time.”That’s equivalent to >1,000 Gigatons of carbon.

  • Ulvfugl: “What’s your motive ? What do you want to achieve ? What do you want to do ? Tell me that, maybe I’ll point you in a helpful direction, if I can.”

    ===

    I’m convinced that the climate emergency is very real, very serious and very dangerous. I take it very seriously.

    And I think it will require a massive effort on the part of literally billions of people to escape worst case scenarios such as NTE (or even LTE [long term…].

    I think time for such massive effort is running out fast.

    I think the IPCC’s “climate budget” is a freaking joke and that any continued CO2 emissions is too much and too risky.

    I think we have a slim chance of not ruining the biosphere utterly.

    We disagree on pretty much all, or all of these points.

    I know I might be wrong. I also know YOU might be wrong.

    What is my agenda? I want to rescue whatever slim chance we might have to pull out of the nose dive into extinction course. I want to counter whatever cynicism (or whatever) which might create a particular feedback loop, known as self-fulfilling prophesy, from proving itself correct.

    I did not find the links you provided useful on the scientific questions at hand. I read them partially because I did not see the relevance to the scientific questions at hand. Perhaps I missed something. I read some, skimmed some … but did not see anything which would resolve the scientific questions at hand.

    I really don’t care if you respect me. It matters to me not in the least.

    As long as folks go on insisting that doom is inescapable, I’ll ask them to prove it. I’ll poke holes in their certitude. I’ll challenge them. And if they offer bluster instead of sound fact-based argument, I will point out that it’s just bluster.

  • @Jeff S

    If I had called myself Britney Spears would you think I was taking time off from dance classes to post here?

    For your information there’s more than one type of “Dean”, not only academic. Try Church.

    There’s also more than one type of “Reading”, not only what you are doing now. Try Geography.

    Google “The Dean Of Reading” using quotes, bearing the above in mind, and you might get the punchline.

    As for ENENEWS… I’m well aware that poxy little site appeared not long after the Fukushima tragedy, and started doing the rounds on the conspiracy sites. It’s not my fault you are too thick to see it for what it is, something that can be designed and put online in a matter of days, which simply trawls the web looking for all the bad news available and then aggregating it and re-hashing it for muppets like you and Tom to dwell on.

  • Dr. Guy McPherson: “James R. Martin, it’s worth checking the scientific literature now and then. Consider this quote from Nature in July 2013: 50-Gigaton “burp” of methane is “highly possible at any time.” That’s equivalent to >1,000 Gigatons of carbon.”

    I don’t doubt that it’s possible. I’m not even doubting that it ranks as significantly probable! I only want to know how you and Ulvfugl (and others here) respond to the objections and criticisms directed at the scientists who published that.

    I’ve provided several links to journalistic (not scientific) sources on this discussion and debate. I can post a list of specific objections if you like. But I think you will recognize the principle objections in those articles.

    We could start with the uncertainty about whether the methane bubbling up from the Arctic regional sea floor is a recently emergent condition, and whether the methane hydrates should be expected to be as far under the sea floor as the objecting scientists posit. Have the aquatic and below sea landforms warmed recently with such significance as to destabilize the methane hydrates? Do we have a record of this temperature data in the relevant sites and regions?

    Most of the objections to the “burp” hypothesis suggest a vastly slower process of release — over centuries rather than of a sudden. I would think this to be good news! It suggests that while things are looking very risky … maybe there could be just barely enough time for humanity to make all of the right choices concerning fossil fuels and possible sequestration enhancements.

    And, yes, I realize there are numerous other feedbacks to be concerned with. Still, the Earth’s massive thermal inertia isn’t JUST bad news. It is that, too. But isn’t there some good news here?

  • James R. Martin Says:

    “But isn’t there some good news here?”

    Yes. Guy has a two post per day rule to prevent long drawn out arguments :)

  • @ J. Martin

    Well, you obviously don’t understand what you have read about the science.

    Peter Wadhams is a double Professor at Cambridge, which is about as distinguished as it gets in UK academia, and so I guess his view and reputation carries some weight.

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/a-response-to-methane-mischief-misleading-commentary-published-in-nature

    I gave you the Arctic News link, where you can see that the levels are going up and up and up.

    Perhaps you’ll want to cite this as evidence that there’s no need for concern because nothing is going to happen for centuries ?

    Here’s another where you can watch them go up on a daily basis.

    http://www.methanetracker.org/

    What is my agenda? I want to rescue whatever slim chance we might have to pull out of the nose dive into extinction course. I want to counter whatever cynicism (or whatever) which might create a particular feedback loop, known as self-fulfilling prophesy, from proving itself correct.

    What a ridiculous waste of precious time, your own and everyone else’s.
    And you claim that you take this situation ‘seriously’ ???

    There is no ‘self-fulfilling prophesy’ at work regarding NTE or the 25 feedbacks or climate change, you’re obviously off in some fantasyland, tilting at windmills.

    There are very well understood reasons which have been researched in great detail and analysed and understood. We KNOW what the problems and obstacles are.

    @ Dean of Reading

    Whether you are the Read of Deaning or whatever your title, your comments do not add value. If you’re claiming an association with the Church, I’d suggest you’re bringing it into disrepute.

  • @ulvfugl

    “The beach of doom” is what you call it, eh? Says a lot really.. it really does appear you, the three wise crones and some others have a profound deathwish and are actually revelling in Guy’s information like a dog lying on it’s back inviting tickles.

    I asked for you to describe the real-world experiments you have performed to verify for yourself what others have told you. Now, you can make a joke to try and paper over the cracks…. to induce the gullible into a smile and the profane to nod knowingly… but that trick only works on adult babies unfortunately for you.

    I asked you to name the experiments you have performed to verify the information available and you effectively replied….

    “None.”

    So you are an “armchair expert” with no field knowledge, simply prepared to suck at the tit of your betters with a head bowed “yes boss”.

    You said “There has to be trust and integrity. Without that, the whole project collapses.”

    This is a point I am looking to bring up soon. I have an interesting link but I’ll post it later as it’s for all to see and comment on, and very relevant to this blog.

    You also said
    “We are not living in mathematics nor does anything around us behave with any sort of clear precision”
    Dear oh dear, you made yourself look a right fool with that comment.
    There are mathematical patterns all over the place, like the fibonacci series in plant leaves

  • The Dean Of Reading Says:
    October 20th, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    “@Jeff S

    If I had called myself Britney Spears would you think I was taking time off from dance classes to post here?

    For your information there’s more than one type of “Dean”, not only academic. Try Church.

    There’s also more than one type of “Reading”, not only what you are doing now. Try Geography.

    Google “The Dean Of Reading” using quotes, bearing the above in mind, and you might get the punchline.

    As for ENENEWS… I’m well aware that poxy little site appeared not long after the Fukushima tragedy, and started doing the rounds on the conspiracy sites. It’s not my fault you are too thick to see it for what it is, something that can be designed and put online in a matter of days, which simply trawls the web looking for all the bad news available and then aggregating it and re-hashing it for muppets like you and Tom to dwell on.”

    Your self title just offered a punch line which was too good to pass up.

    As for ENENEWS, you continue to ignore that what was on that specific link which Tom posted to which you responded with invective against the site. It was stuff from Japanese mainstream media. Not anyone’s fault but your own that you are too thick to see that this news is indeed real and is really bad. Though one can wonder whether it’s really a matter of your being thick, rather than a matter of your attempted trolling and of smearing ENE so as to confuse the situation. You and James Martin must have gone to the same troll school. “it’s not so bad,” they kept on bleating.

  • @ Tony — you seem to be trying to keep going an argument between Doubt and Probability. I hope my explanation below does not sound too obscure to you, as the thoughts are recent to me as well, and I don’t claim they are in any way complete or polished.

    Yes, Doubt is a cardinal tool of the Scientific Method, and is always required when there are orthodoxies being imposed upon us.

    While Doubt nods an acceptance to the existence of Probability, this is less useful than the fact that Probability incorporates Doubt into its calculations.

    If this were pure Game Theory, and the other actors were human decision-makers, then our situation would be more complex, as you allude to, and players would even consider these doubts from others into their action matrices.

    What Guy & others are trying to tell us is that the other “player” is now non-human, and beyond the reach of any human decision-making or influence. (I would somewhat amend that in your favor by saying any LIKELY human decision-making.)

    This probability is based upon, for the most part, Methane that was buried millions of years ago, awaiting only an extended period of high temperature, and none of the periodic Ice Ages that kept it in check.

    All we can be “in doubt” about now is the quantity and release rate of that Methane.

    Both are “unknowns”, but, making estimates as to each of them multiplies out to fatal levels of methane acceleration, even at the LOWEST end (10% ?) estimates. You are, by implication, arguing against these, even as you counsel us to take mid-range (and low-ball) estimates of consequences as conclusive.

    Speaking against anecdotal inputs is fine, but I would like to see you “run the numbers” just one time, just to see if you especially are speaking from a scientific stance, or not.

    So, if Probability tells us we are 95% (my first and latest estimate) on course toward losing any habitat in which long-term human survival is possible, and my further estimate that any human geo-engineering or IMMEDIATE carbon-burning stoppage is likely to bring that down to “only” a 70% chance of extinction, where do your protestations really fit in?

    First, tell me that we are NOT in a probabilistic model, considering all knowns, and estimating a range for all of your/our unknowns (which we share, but I think you have not yet quantified.)

    You cannot just “Doubt” that Probability exists, and, like Entropy, reigns but does not rule.

    Then, if you concede that Probability does indeed exist — and you may pick your own time horizons — then how many “good” points in the direction of survival does one cold Arctic summer move us? I’d give it 3. I’d love to have it be more. (Next summer? Let’s hope for another 3. But only the data will tell. Could reverse, and we’d lose a point or two…)

    (Sorry, all; I was just hearing a barful of guys arguing the Jets-Patriots point spread, which I can’t comprehend at all, so I’m probably just venting in this way ;) )
    ========

    What I am grateful for to all here is that admitting this future lies before us helps me to eliminate some of the habitual wastes of time and energy I’ve built into my remaining life, and to appreciate these moments of life that we do have.

    Allowing this comprehension in, a bit at a time, not to overwhelm, because that IS the nature of the subject, but to alter our lives into positive directions.

    ======

    I was in the mood to post something during a travel interval a few days back, but Christy Caraso spoke nearly all of my thoughts precisely in one short post, for which I am grateful. We are lucky to attract such clear thinkers and communicators here.

  • Not sure what happened to my last comment but just wanted to point out to ulvfugl that I don’t consider a supervolcano or asteroid strike good news or bad news. It’s disappointing that you misrepresent what I wrote. I was merely making the point that no-one knows how the future will turn out. Not ulvfugl, not anyone. If the feedbacks turn out to be slow, then there is more chance of the climate taking a twist; that’s statistics. But the science hasn’t got the dynamics of the feedbacks all locked up, anyway, despite what ulvfugl, personally, thinks.

  • @ Dean of Reading

    Sorry Dean, you’re way out of your depth, and obviously not very smart.

    I asked for you to describe the real-world experiments you have performed to verify for yourself what others have told you.

    Yes, you did ask me that, and I explained to you why it was a really stupid question. You seriously suggest that everyone must trek to the East Siberian Arctic Sea to inspect the sea bed for themselves and drill into the mud to verify the data ? Yes, I see.

    Dear oh dear, you made yourself look a right fool with that comment.
    There are mathematical patterns all over the place, like the fibonacci series in plant leaves

    Oh dear, oh dear, what a foolish remark. I never denied the existence of mathematical patterns. You’ll probably find that plant leaf structures follow fractals rather than fibonacci.

    But the point is entirely irrelevant. We do not live in mathematics. Try eating numbers for a week and see how you get on.

    @ Tony

    No-one knows how the future will turn out ?

    Hahaha, you mean, I can’t take an educated and informed guess that I’ll wake up in the morning, and that the Sun will rise once again in the East ?

    Look, there are laws of physics and chemistry and science has studied the climate and the oceans and the biology and the geology and everything else that can be measured, and using everything that has been understood so far, it’s possible to have a reasonable conception of what will occur, ok ?

    So, it’s like a horse race. It’s not like a random arbitrary chaotic meaningless confusion. This is the GREAT ACHIEVEMENT of the scientific endeavour, fwiw. We have understood something !

    We have horses and they are all going in the same direction. But, nobody can say for absolute certainty which one will win. That is true.

    What you keep trying to say and do is to cast doubt and imply that there is some greater uncertainty. There is not !

    We know that, for 600,000 years, methane and CO2 and temperature have gone up and down in synchrony, and we know that NOW, all three graph lines are going vertically upwards, and we know that what that means is that we get an extinction event, because, when that phenomenon has occurred in the past geological record, that is what has happened.

    The change that we are living through is the fastest change to the world’s climate that has occurred in the last 65 million years.
    This is understood ! This is known ! This is not in doubt !

    I know you don’t LIKE it, neither do I, but that’s what IS happening.

  • ulvfugl,

    Most of your comment was reasonable. I don’t know why you had to start it off with, “Hahaha, you mean, I can’t take an educated and informed guess that I’ll wake up in the morning, and that the Sun will rise once again in the East ?

    I do realise that the situation looks bleak, certainly the long term situation (centuries) looks bleak. The paleoclimate record suggests that we don’t get out of this with any resemblance to the current world. The short term situation could turn bad quickly. But, from my reading of the research behind the list of feedbacks, how these feedbacks will play out is not close to being known. We know some basics and you keep mentioning those. I don’t disagree with the basics and I don’t disagree that without some surprising aspect of the climate (and we’ve seen a few of those) or some other geological or astronomical event, a major extinction is on the cards. But we don’t know the timelines and don’t know what twists and turns the climate will make. If extinction is looming in 200 years, I think that makes a difference compared with extinction looming in 30 or 40 years.

    I becoming fairly convinced that there is no way to definitively say whether extinction with happen with this event or if it will happen by a certain time. Obviously, it will happen eventually, but that has always been the case. How each of us views the future determines how each of us lives out the rest of our lives. If I was convinced of near term human extinction, I doubt I’d be discussing the issue with you or anyone else here and my life choices, in some ways, would be a lot easier (at least for a while). Otherwise, I think there is some value in trying to live more simply and to become more resilient to potential climate and societal changes.

    If you and Guy are right, at least we should get a good idea of timelines quite soon. By 2020, I would have thought the environmental situation would have deteriorated quite a bit for extinction (no more human life, in the northern hemisphere) to be looming within a further 15 years or so.

  • And Tony keeps articulating his nothing-more-than-hope that the extinction’s timing is far enough in the future so as to not affect HIM personally, and meanwhile tries to muddy the water and do as much as he can to (he thinks) discredit Guy.

  • @ Tony

    Most of your comment was reasonable. I don’t know why you had to start it off with, “Hahaha, you mean, I can’t take an educated and informed guess that I’ll wake up in the morning, and that the Sun will rise once again in the East ?”

    Isn’t it OBVIOUS to you ?

    Because, you said : No-one knows how the future will turn out

    I’m pointing out to you what a scientifically and philosophically illiterate statement that is.

    WE have got a good time line NOW. It’s only YOU who are hopelessly confused because you don’t understand quite simple parts of the picture.

    This is so terribly obvious when you make these crazy statements all the time

    By 2020, I would have thought the environmental situation would have deteriorated quite a bit for extinction..

    I mean, don’t you pay any attention to the world around you and the news, even to the comments here on this blog ?

    Haven’t you noticed that the situation has, erm, ‘deteriorated quite a bit’ just in the last twelve months, let alone the last twelve years ?

    I mean, I find it quite staggering that you need some sort of permission from ‘science’ before you can think for yourself, this infantile attitude of looking up to others to be told what the future is going to be like, and then, when you’re told, you don’t like it, so you refuse to believe it, so you’re going to wait and see… just amazing really.

    I mean, if you think Guy is taking an extreme position, then look at what the mainstream conservative science is saying. But remember, they are the people who have to be cautious, to get through peer review, and by the time they get published, that will already be out of date.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/one-billion-people-face-entirely-new-climate-by-2050-study-16587

    There is the timeline for you, from Nature. There’s a hell of a lot that it does not include.

    And this

    The oceans are becoming more acidic at the fastest rate in 300m years, due to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and a mass extinction of key species may already be almost inevitable as a result

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/03/ocean-acidification-carbon-dioxide-emissions-levels

    They can’t say ‘INEVITABLE’ can they, because then they’d be accused of being ‘unscientific’, because they have to wait until after the species have actually BECOME extinct before they are completely certain.

    But if you or anyone else can explain what is going to STOP this acidification, then I’d be pleased to hear.

    And when the oceans become dead zones, THAT IS THE END OF US TOO.

    Check out Peter Ward. He explains this very well in explicit detail.

  • Concern Trolling

    Concern trolling is a form of Internet trolling in which someone enters a discussion with claims that he or she supports the view of the discussion, but has concerns. In fact, the concern troll is opposed to the view of the discussion, and he or she uses concern trolling to sow doubt and dissent in the community of commenters or posters. Although this practice originated on the Internet, it has since spread to the real world as well, with concern trolls popping up in a variety of places from network television to op-ed columns.

    Artful concern trolling involves developing a believable persona as a supporter of a cause who has legitimate concerns. In an example of concern trolling, a group of people might be having a political discussion on a website about a candidate they support. The concern troll would log on and say “I’m concerned that this candidate might not be strong enough to beat the opposition,” or “I’m worried that the candidate’s history in the legislature might be a problem in the election.”

    Once a concern troll has sowed dissent or discord, often he or she can sit back and let the other commenters do the rest of the work. When a concern troll has done the job correctly, the discussion will split, factions will emerge, and support for the cause will have eroded. Concern trolling can also be highly distracting, as people band together to oppose the concern troll, rather than discussing serious issues, including valid concerns which should be addressed.

    Many people think that the best thing to do with Internet trolls is to ignore them. By refusing to give them anything to feed on, users can continue their discussion and stay focused on the issues they want to talk about.

  • the anthropomorphic lens through which you attempt to critique the motivations of others.

    If the “others” are lacking in the anthropomorphic insight, they are out of luck here. It is best to talk to a person in a language that the person understands. Or is that the most effective way they know for communication?

    I want to rescue whatever slim chance we might have to pull out of the nose dive into extinction course.

    Remember, NBL doesn’t have much of a following amongst that kind of people. This is the wrong pulpit for such preaching. The slim chance ain’t here, one has to look for it elsewhere.

    As long as folks go on insisting that doom is inescapable, I’ll ask them to prove it. I’ll poke holes in their certitude. I’ll challenge them.

    It might make one feel better, feel that one has done something about it: but it will not postpone NTE.

    whether the methane bubbling up from the Arctic regional sea floor is a recently emergent condition

    Of course not. It has been around since antiquity. The 150 kilometre areas of bubbly were not previously recorded because they did not consider it worth recording before now?

    maybe there could be just barely enough time for humanity to make all of the right choices concerning fossil fuels and possible sequestration enhancements.

    That would be very like a pronouncement from one of those interstellar travellers. No anthropomorphism.

    But isn’t there some good news here?

    Depends. First, there is the Socratic question of “What is good?” The Depends™ will be quite helpful if the answer makes one crap in one’s britches.

    No need to demolish NBL from within. Certainly not if all this is bulls**t. It cannot even be a self-fulfilling prophecy: it is a minor fringe group. There are hordes of activists of every stripe out there who could use every bit of support and would appreciate the same effort directed to their blogs in furtherance of their causes. Stomping out ideas does not equate to stomping out reality. And if NBL’s ideas are delusional, then why bother in the first place?

    I was merely making the point that no-one knows how the future will turn out.

    True. If one does not like the stench of NTE on NBL, there are plenty of other cheerier blogs.

    If extinction is looming in 200 years, I think that makes a difference compared with extinction looming in 30 or 40 years.

    On NBL it’s 30 or 40 years. If that might be in error, jolly good! But stomping down this estimate won’t change it to 200 years.

    If I was convinced of near term human extinction, I doubt I’d be discussing the issue with you or anyone else here and my life choices, in some ways, would be a lot easier (at least for a while).

    The same is true if you were convinced otherwise. Stomping down the assumption of NTE ain’t gonna change things one bit with regard to NTE or no NTE.

    If you and Guy are right, at least we should get a good idea of timelines quite soon.

    Matthew 6:34

    Re: “Concern Trolling” about NTE. No concern? Good. Concerned? Do what the unofficial advice in the Army was to deal with a nuclear attack: sit down in a corner, stick your head between your knees, and kiss your ass goodbye.

    Incidentally, I have no intention of checking on any permafrost or methane hydrates myself. I spent two and a half decades taking others’ research for granted as valid in my job.

  • @Jeff S

    Not at all, nothing wrong with my title.

    “The Dean Of Reading” refers to a Priest in my local area who was caught with his pants down… it’s called having a sense of humour.

    Like most, you superficially made assumptions and then go it totally wrong.

    Your 2 assumptions were both wrong, as is your bizarre sense of allegiance to the pisspoor website called ENENEWS.

    You are too thick to realise mainstream media is mostly spin and the alternative media is just another even worse spin of that in most cases.

    Smear ENENEWS? what is there to smear?

    You’ve clearly not got a clue about website design. ENENEWS is CLEARLY some little grot in his mother’s bedroom posting filth in the hope of getting a cult following of retards, who worship doom porn.

    Make sure you donate if you rate it so highly Jeff, a fool and his money etc….

  • @ulvfugl

    You are so thick I’ve caught you out twice and I’ve only read about 4 of your posts. you probably didn’t expect someone to dissect your worthless posts as I did, most on here are gullible mugs happy to accept any old tripe, probably put in a state of suggestibility by the flicker rate on their PC monitors.

    FACTS

    1. you have admitted to haven’t verified for yourself any of the information you have read on the internet with experimentation.

    i.e. you are a PARROT and there are bucketloads of idiots like you running around freely on the internet.

    I’m guessing you are too scared to venture outside and live most of your life inside your bedroom trolling, or you are posting from within a psychiatric institution on your day release.

    2. you claim mathematics is not found in nature, you can’t edit your posts brother, anyone can scroll up and see you wrote the following:

    ulvfugl said: “We are not living in mathematics nor does anything around us behave with any sort of clear precision”

    what utter garbage, free for all to see.

  • @ Roger Ellis

    Yes, thanks.

    Tony, Dean of Reading, James Martin claim to be ‘saving’ us from ourselves and our ‘mistaken’ understanding of Guy’s claims, and ‘saving’ the wider world from us, as if the handful of people here were the threat to survival, as their self-appointed mission for being here.

    Concern trolls. They have nothing of interest or value to contribute.

  • Ah, to have the true, true religion. But any will do, really. A chief consolation of any religion is that you can tell everyone they’re wrong, wrong, wrong.

    It was all samsara yesterday. Today it is something like apocalypse on a plume of methane. Who know what intellectual rattle he will be shaking tomorrow to calm the dread of the emptiness.

  • For those who are serious and moderately intelligent

    Peter Ward : Our future in a world without ice caps

    On the range of views :

    On the other end of the spectrum are scientists, thinkers, and researchers of all types who make very specific statements about climate change not being as bad as the sources above contend; and many of these “non-alarmists” often consider themselves to be “believers” in global warming. This portion of the “other end of things” constitutes people who often say that any number of things can’t or won’t happen before a certain time-frame. For example, the most popular statement I’ve heard is: “sea level rise of several meters is possible, but it will take many centuries, or even thousands of years, before it happens – we certainly won’t see it happen in our lifetimes.”

    Looking more closely at these statements by this section of people, it becomes quickly obvious that they are typically specialists in some field away from the central issue of climate change. I recall hearing the above statement nearly verbatim from a biologist (whose name escapes me) talking on a public radio talk-show about his or her Antarctic travels and penguins: he or she certainly encountered enough references in the literature to climate change, but their main focus is penguins, and probably something extremely specific about them.

    Ask the scientists who study the melting polar ice sheets explicitly and you’ll get a very different answer. In fact, a recent survey (expert elicitation) of glaciologists recently found that the leading members of that field think close to 1 meter of sea level rise is feasible by 2100, which is much more than they previously expected just a few years ago. And, if you dig deeper into the way that science works, you realize it is constantly evolving, and that it is virtually guaranteed these same scientists will change their estimates for warming by 2100 all the way up until the year 2100. This is not a bad thing, it is just a process of getting ever closer to the ideal truth – a truth that can also be more closely approximated, but never completely specified – which is a good thing!

    I don’t have a good example of an actual person who takes this non-alarmist perspective, although I’ve heard it dozens of times, from scientists and non-scientists both. The reason for this shortcoming is largely because these people aren’t generally outspoken about there being no-need-to-panic, after all, no one is panicking. On-line, in the blogosphere, when someone posts a panicked comment, like “the world is going to end because of global warming by the time I’m 50,” then these non-panicked members of the community tend to come out with calm statements saying how it won’t happen so soon. [If I have the time to find some good examples I will include them here.]

    What’s most curious however – at least to me – is the self-contradiction of these people’s statements. They say catastrophic, near-apocalyptic consequences of climate change won’t (or can’t) happen in our lifetimes, and that it will take at least a 100 years for such things to come about – but what about the people and the planet in 100 years? In an implicit way, they are agreeing that a near-apocalypse (or a real apocalypse) is unfolding, but that they just don’t think it will hit before they bite the dust. I find this exceedingly curious, but it is surprisingly common. To reiterate: Many people, scientists of various types included, think that catastrophic, near-apocalyptic climate change is coming, but that for an unspecified reason, it won’t hit until just after they die of natural causes. In my experience, this view spans age groups too. In just one counter to this line of thought, I ask: if they think it will hurt the generation after them, how do they expect young people will treat them in their old age?

    One explanation for the lack of concern is an incorrect perception, based around the belief that a linear relationship between input and output will continue. Looking at past climate demonstrates such a presumption is substantially and patently false. What’s more, based on the current severity of greenhouse gas concentration change (rapidly rising) per year and per century, there is a strong case for increased non-linearity today compared to previous eras (Pitman et al., 2006 Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci.).

    There are a few however who accept the non-linearity of climate change and still believe that everything will be just fine. Such views are interesting when well-thought out, and place a high degree of faith in human ingenuity and perseverance through adversity. There can be no denying humans are good at surviving harsh conditions, even for long periods of times. They do not however, take very much into account for the well-being of the ecology of our planet. If climate change continues at the current pace for much longer, 1/3 to 2/3 of all species on the Earth could go extinct in short order, further increasing ecological upheaval and making human affairs more difficult and costly.

    I am skipping over the lunatic fringe of climate denialists, those who say climate change is a hoax, and those who think aliens, or various other secret forces are behind all this. While aliens may be behind the functions of our climate for all we know, I really have no evidence for that – so if they are, and they’re reading this, all I can say is “hi, please don’t destroy us and our planet.” Unfortunately, aliens would have to obey the laws of physics just like us, and the greenhouse effect is one of those laws. But now, I still haven’t really found a solid group of people who have views contrary to the “extreme end of things” as highlighted by AMEG.

    http://www.fairfaxclimatewatch.com/blog/2013/02/what-the-models-dont-show.html

  • ulvfugl, I truly admire your determination to show the blind what they cannot see.

    Robin Datta, loved the Depends!

    Sure wish those doubters would stop pulling the legs off the flies here on this board and go save the world! The ocean is crashing and sure could use some help. Tony, Artleads, TIAA, The Dean of Reading…stop arguing with people who know better and go save the oceans…PLEASE..because I’m sure your love and good intentions are going to reverse what trawling and pollution have done.

    Better yet, move to Japan and help Tepco, who reduced wages by 20% in 2011 as further incentive to get that mess cleaned up.

    Congrats, boys, you’ve blown up a site. Great job.

  • PONEROLOGY; IT’S A MENTAL THING – ANOTHER “STRUCTURAL” DICHOTOMY.

    HAPPY – UNHAPPY

    HUNGRY – NOT SO …

    IN – OUT

    GOOD – BAD

    PSYCHOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE – BULLSHIT

    ESSENCE – NON ESSENCE

    ETC.

    Ponerology is the name given by Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Łobaczewski to an interdisciplinary study of social issues.m and in the works of Stefan Blachowski and Kazimierz Dąbrowski.[2]

    Łobaczewski adopted the term from the branch of theology dealing with the study of evil, derived from the Greek word poneros. According to Łobaczewski, all societies vacillate between “happy times,” or times of prosperity, during which advanced psychological knowledge of psychopathological influence in the corridors of power is suppressed, and “unhappy times.”

    During unhappy times, the intelligentsia and society at large can recover this specialized knowledge to resolve the social order along mentally healthier lines. It is to be noted that happy times do not imply morally advanced times, as Łobaczewski makes clear that this happiness or prosperity may well be premised on the oppression of a target group.

  • @ wildwoman

    Thankyou !

    Re the permafrost and the methane feedback loop :

    Considering that about half or more (maybe all) of the northern permafrost is expected to thaw by 2100, microbial and invertebrate activity could [will] rapidly reduce the storage of carbon in these soils [but how fast?], bringing it more in line with average soil carbon in areas like the lower Canadian plains today. This would translate to losses of 100’s of gigatonnes of carbon to the air: the carbon content of these soils is about 50% of total global soil carbon content, but the soil is only about 16% of total soil surface area – just making the carbon content proportional to the rest of the world would equate to a loss of over 1,100 GtC. To put that number in perspective, current human emissions amount to almost 10 GtC per year.

    The second factor that keeps northern soil carbon locked in place, is natural chemical preservatives from peat. These preservatives are products of the mosses that make up so much of the peat, and they reduce the amount of microbial activity in their presence. However, this is not sufficient to stop all decay. And it only slows down the eventual outcome. Plus, these preservative compounds will decay in their own right once the soil thaws. The peat is only a few 100 GtC out of the total 1,700 GtC estimated.

    Even with the slowed rate of decay in peat, estimates for carbon release from the thawing permafrost now range from about 100 to 400 GtC by 2100. The lower estimates, of about 100 GtC are based on simulations that exclude several important components of PCFs (e.g. the work of von Deimling et al., Biogeosciences, 9, 649–665, 2012). And even these limited simulations show that by the year 2300, 400 GtC or more will be emitted via PCF mechanisms. The result is inevitable, thawed permafrost will become like other, warmer soils, with comparably lower carbon ratios.

    So, the main reason so much carbon is stored in permafrost now, is because the soil is frozen – and thawing will release it. This is as sure as saying a bucket with no bottom can only hold water if you keep it underwater. Thawing the permafrost will lift this bucket out of the water. And the hole is large.

    I estimate that under a scenario that ranges from baseline RCP4.5 to RCP6.0, between 200 to 400 GtC will be released from the permafrost pool. This estimate is based on a number of factors, including those outlined above, below, and yet more which I am excluding for the sake of [relative] brevity and simplicity. Considering the complexity of the decay, as well as thermal inertia (see below) of the permafrost, I believe it is appropriate to leave off assigning any respective probability to either 200 GtC or 400 GtC; instead I consider both to be equally possible under baseline RCPs 4.5 or 6.0. If climate change surpasses the RCP8.5 baseline warming, I believe that 400 GtC emission by 2100 is more likely.

    In Nature’s December issue of 2011, Edward Schuur and Benjamin Abbot, two scientists in the Permafrost Carbon Network, a cross-disciplinary group of researchers, wrote that they had surveyed leading experts of permafrost for their opinions on total carbon loss by 2100. The answer came back with striking similarity across the field, 232 to 380 GtC by 2100 under an RCP6.0-like scenario.

    To achieve 400 GtC of emissions by 2100, assuming that 8 million square meters of permafrost thaws by 2100, and at an exponentially increasing rate, about 5% of the permafrost carbon store per area of thaw would need to be decomposed and released as CO2 each year (using this crude approximation, the release would decline year over year, which may not be the case). This is not a terribly high ratio of carbon loss when leaching, invertebrate action, and microbial activity are evaluated. Under the same conditions, an average carbon loss rate of about 2.5% per thawed area of permafrost per year would lead to about 300 GtC loss by 2100, and just over 1% would lead to about 200 GtC loss. If the permafrost thaws in a more linear manner on an area thaw per year basis however, a higher carbon loss would arise from the same percentage loss rates by 2100, assuming the same 8 million square km are thawed by 2100.

    Now, 200 GtC extra in the air by 2100 would translate to about 51 ppm extra CO2 after taking into account the ocean uptake of carbon and the NLF described previously. 400 GtC would double that, at just over 100 ppm extra CO2 in the air by 2100, assuming that uptake by the oceans and land would not be slowed significantly. A very important point is that not all of this carbon release takes the form of CO2, but instead some of it takes the form of methane.

    Right now, methane levels in the air are about 1.8 ppm (although higher in the Arctic, above newly open water and above thawing permafrost), which is low compared to CO2 levels at about 400 ppm – but a rise of methane levels by just a few ppm will have a significant impact on climate. Even more problematic, is the fact that methane release from permafrost areas already causes high local concentrations of the gas, leading to locally accelerated warming, and thus thawing more permafrost.

    http://climatewatch.typepad.com/blog/2013/02/what-the-models-dont-show-part-2.html

  • Wildwoman; The first things that space aliens learn in their charter schools is how to type real fast – then the use of framing, metaphor, Freud, & essence(s).

    They are known as typists or “writers.”

  • @ wildwoman

    Are you sure NBL has been “blown up?” It was not my plan to contribute to any such thing. I am very sorry to see the departure of the women who used to post here (I’m generally more interested in the woman’s point of view.) I hope they will return. I hope that by posting less, I will contribute to less rancor among the old timers who don’t like the sound of my voice. But there is no other web site that interests me more (or at all). If this is the best, then the best is what I want. If it is indeed the best, it should be able to withstand the jarring sounds (seemingly intolerably ignorant, stubborn and misguided) I and others of similar stance have been making. We’re doing the best we can.

  • WILDWOMAN; According to free choice theory the poorly paid drudge “WORKERS” at Fukushima “choose” to work in the free market through their own FREE WILL.

    The workers spontaneously decide (get the idea) to go forth into the radiation.

    They are free to choose in the free market.

  • These questions are directed at whomever wants to respond to them.

    The Arctic Methane Emergency Group maintains a website in which it diagnoses an immediate global emergency and proposes our only possible and appropriate response is geo-engineering.

    http://ameg.me/index.php/emergency

    http://ameg.me/index.php/response

    Questions:

    What, if any, progress is AMEG making toward its aim?

    Are any of the proposed responses plausible? That is, can time be bought and general ameliorative progress be made if the world were to treat this as a global emergency?

    Why does the AMEG’s message of emergency and response not widely reported or discussed, even on the internet?

    Ulvfugl, Thanks for the links. I will read that material carefully.

  • Dean of Reading is clearly a troll. He has not addressed in even a minor way the CONTENT of the article on Fukushima to which Tom posted a link, except to now claim that even the mainstream accounts of just how bad things are at Fukushima are all “spin,” without one iota of proof that things are indeed no problem. In fact, none of his posts have any content apart from personal attacks. It’s like several characters i deat with when i reviewed David Ray Griffin’s book on The New Pearl Harbor 10 Years Later on Amazon (see The Trapping of Screw Loose Change at 911 Truth) who never responded to any of the science questions and kept trying to make the discussion about personalities. From now on, i plan to simply ignore him.

  • The blog dies when it becomes like some of the other doom sites out there, when Ulf is constantly posting and then he posts responses to his own posts and links to his own posts on other websites. Guy’s two post a day rule has made a big difference in keeping the nut-job’s volume toned down.

    Concern Trolls: who cares? How’s this: I’m concerned that Ulf’s posts are hurting this blog by causing many regular posters to no longer participate.

    But, WTF?, it doesn’t matter – if you are not already convinced of NTE, then read Guy’s many posts here on THIS website, and, if still unconvinced, great – go get another starbucks and tickets to a movie.

    For me, it’s not really about NTE – it’s about Industrial Civilization and unbridled consumerism and etc., etc., etc.

    Vanishing rainforests, child labor in developing countries, smog in China so thick you can’t see across the street, oceans trashed, overpopulation, untold numbers of people starving (right now), untold numbers of people living under tyrannical govts, etc.

    What more do you need to believe that Industrial Civilization is EVENTUALLY going to kill us?

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

  • ulvfugl Says:

    “There is no ‘self-fulfilling prophesy’ at work regarding NTE or the 25 feedbacks or climate change, you’re obviously off in some fantasyland, tilting at windmills.”

    ===

    If, and only if, current CO2 and other greenhouse gas concentrations have already created a condition of inevitability (triggered unstoppable runaway extinction catastrophe), then it would be true that my concern regards “self-fulfilling prophesy” would indeed be pointless and irrelevant.

    Let’s designate the “point of no return” referred to above as X.

    My contention is that it is significantly within plausibility that X has not been reached or surpassed — though it is clearly very near, at least.

    Note that I did not say that “it is significantly within probability” — a stance taken by a majority of climatologists and by the IPCC.

    The Wikipedia article on self-fulfilling prophesy says, “A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-fulfilling_prophecy

    The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology says, “The term ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ (SFP) was coined in 1948 by Robert Merton to describe “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true”.
    http://users.ox.ac.uk/~sfos0060/prophecies.shtml

    ===

    My contention is that:

    If X has not been reached or surpassed (which most climatologists and the IPCC contend) self-fulfilling prophesy may indeed impact the physics and chemistry of Earth systems, provided that crucial potential responders fail to respond appropriately on account of their belief that X has already been reached or surpassed.

    You and others may not believe sociology or social psychology are components of Earth systems. But I do. And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon or rocket scientist (or particle physicist) to understand these dynamics.

  • @ James Martin

    Thank you for thanking me.

    This too

    http://www.fairfaxclimatewatch.com/blog/2013/08/methane-blind-spot-could-be-much-bigger-than-we-think.html

    Imo, those guys know more about the Arctic and methane than almost anybody else, so their views are very important and need close attention.

    However, imo, the geo-engineering solutions they propose are totally crackpot and unrealistic.

    How do we reconcile these rather strange paradoxes ?

    There’s no doubt that the methane from the ESAS can be seen as a threat to human existence on a par to an approaching asteroid strike. But the response ? Even when Wadhams and Whitehead publish a paper with a $ bill price attached ? Everybody wants to pretend it can’t possibly happen, there must be something wrong with the science, blahblahblah.

    And, although AMEG have solid scientific credentials and can show reasoned claims with data, nobody pays attention, other than a few thousand here, on Neven’s blog, and elsewhere.

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/07/arctic-time-bombs.html

    It is bizarre and quite hard to explain or understand.

    But this is all part of the reasoning as to why NTE is inescapable. There are 7 billion of us and another 2 billion almost certain to be born, that’s 2 more China’s worth, to feed, clothe, house, employ.

    The resources are becoming vastly overstretched and reduced, and climate chaos, sea level rise, etc, are going to diminish them further.
    Trying to organise any sort of rational planned response to long term threats seems an almost impossible task.

    Who will want to invest in some crazy scheme like AMEG’s unless they can see huge profits ? The banks and the oil companies are the only players in town. Russia and USA and China, a bit of Norway, UK, few others perhaps… these things only happen because of return on investment, and that has to be fairly quick.

    The mainstream science re the hydrates follows David Archer who is in bed with Exxon. He says there’s nothing to worry about. The Russians have the rights to drill for gas in the ESAS, they have their own agenda. It’s all about the money and the politics.

    You think anybody cares about the future of the planet and the biosphere ? They DO NOT. They don’t even think about it. The guys from Gazprom and Rosneft or whatever are Orcs. Mafia bosses. They stepped over corpses to get their jobs. Their job is to get the oil and the gas. That’s what they do. Anything or anybody gets in the way, gets removed. That’s their job, they get a lot of money for being very good at it.

  • Where can we continue our discussions here when we’ve used up our two posts a day limit? Is there another forum we can take this to?

    (This will be my final over-post.)

  • To me the most significant piece of evidence that we are on an irrevocable path towards extinction does not come only from observations of climate, methane, ice loss, and ecosystems. Those and many other are quite illustrative of the plight we are in. But the most significant piece of evidence is that human societies have not changed in a measurable way. Population continues to increase, carbon dioxide continues to increase. Huge investments are now being made to build new coal burning plants. Governments are right now getting together to plan how to extract resources from the Arctic Ocean, now that the ice is melting. Aside from the anguish heard from the few who act as Cassandra, who predict the future and are roundly vilified or ignored, there is no movement to change our ways, except in the smallest of ways. We will change our light bulbs, but we will not give up light. We will become vegetarian, but we will not give up the benefits of industrial agriculture (plentiful food), we may turn down our thermostat in winter, but who will go without heat? I live in Minnesota, where the temperature falls to minus 10 F every year. I cannot live here without heat. Some people may argue that we don’t need to do all those things. To that I say, who cares, we aren’t doing any of it. The only thing I can think of left to do is to be kind to people. And I wonder, is it kinder to keep telling people what I believe is our fate, or is it kinder to say nothing?

  • @ James Martin

    Re self-fulfilling prophesy seems such a trivial non-issue, not worth addressing. There are a few thousand people who read this blog and have heard of NTE, out of 7 billion +. The dynamic forces that are in sway, regarding the future are so enormous that social movements, even quite large ones with strong organisations and doctrines have very little impact, e.g. Greenpeace. If you want to worry about an End Times movement with power, how about the Christian Dominionists ?

    Anyway, afaik, Guy tolerates infringements of the rule once a new post is up on old post, if it appears to be constructive. I hope to observe the spirit of the rule if not the letter, the purpose being to keep some sort of civility and order.

    So, if the conversation is polite and constructive I expect he’ll permit it to pass.
    Guy’s preference is for self-policing, as an anarchist ideal, rather than for people to expect him to have to wade in with a truncheon.

    When I first came on this blog I was in favour of no rules, I like it to be Fight Club. But I learned and changed my mind. I still like Fight Club, but it means the nicest, gentlest, timid ones never get heard, and that’s no good, because their voices matter more than the voices of thugs like me.

    Anyway, re the methane.

    This fellow commissioned Archer to do a survey of the hydrates.

    Archer did it, or perhaps his students, and it’s on the Real Climate site somewhere, and taken as the authoritative study.

    Trouble is, its sloppy as hell and full of crap. So, whenever you see mentions of methane that quote Archer as the source, you need to bear that in mind, because most of them do. He said that most of the methane hydrate is in very deep cold water where it will not be effected by warming for thousands of years. Turns out that is rubbish. Most of it is in shallow water on the continental shelves where it can warm up quite easily and quickly. I could go on, but you get the idea.

    The worst case is the ESAS, where, if just 1% of the hydrates turn into free methane, if I remember correctly, that’ll give us a doubling of atmospheric CO2 almost instantly, like 2 deg C over a couple of years, is not an unreasonable guesstimate, could be 10 deg C over a decade.

    When you look in detail at the geology involved, it is terrifying. There is really nothing there to stop this from happening. Perhaps that’s why everyone wants to look the other way. It is just too scary.

    @ Dean of Reading, Rob at the Library

    I addressed remarks to you both here.

    What I have learned, what we should be thankful for, what remains to be done

    Neither of you have added anything of any interest or value since. Neither of you are amusing, clever, generous, helpful, or insightful in any respect, all you have is spiteful ignorance.

    Don’t admonish me about being mean spirited, Rob, wasting your precious life wallowing in guilt and self-pity, repeating the same pathetic dirge over and over again.

    You have absolutely no chance of changing ME but you might have a slight chance of sorting yourselves out if you went about it in the right way.

  • My comment yesterday on HufPo re an article on group-based anxiety, written by a psychiatrist.

    “There is a single door to common purpose: refocusing of anxiety onto a real problem. The real problem is the perfect storm of social, economic, environmental and climate collapse that result from the unsustainability of unchecked industrial civilization. This unprecedented threat, not only to civilization, but to life as well makes all issues of difference pale by comparison. The issue is basic survival within a cooperative global framework. No one I know of who considers themselves a realist thinks there is the remotest chance of human kind to pull off such survival. The issue has not even surfaced from beneath the radar, much less been addressed by any but a paltry, numerically insignificant few.”

  • @ulvfugl,

    Your last post makes me understand the difficulty in what I would like to do, which is to figure out how to be kind to people. Everyone deals with horrible news in their own way, and what is kindness to one person, is irritating beyond belief to someone else. You said that you originally wanted a “fight club” atmosphere. I think you still want that, you fight very hard still to convince people of what you believe to be true, and you take fierce exception to people insulting you. Anyway, I don’t really like a good fight, but I can’t help but induldge you.

    If you don’t want to be admonished for being mean spirited, you should stop being mean-spirited. Telling Rob he is “wasting your precious life wallowing in guilt and self-pity, repeating the same pathetic dirge over and over again.” is actually mean-spirited, no matter what the provocation was. And I would be the first to admit you were provoked.

    Anyway, fight on… I may irritate you beyond belief, but to me, we are on the same side.

  • For an explanation as to why I’m exceeding 2 post daily limit, see:

    Comment on What I have learned, what we should be thankful for, what remains to be done by ulvfugl10/21/2013 12:11 PM@ James Martin

    If anyone here would like me to strictly adhere to the 2 post limit, do let me know.

    =====================================

    Ulvfugl said:

    “Re self-fulfilling prophesy seems such a trivial non-issue, not worth addressing. There are a few thousand people who read this blog and have heard of NTE, out of 7 billion +. The dynamic forces that are in sway, regarding the future are so enormous that social movements, even quite large ones with strong organisations and doctrines have very little impact, e.g. Greenpeace.”

    ……

    I respectfully disagree. What is said in this forum (NBL) may be read by a small fraction of the general population of the world, but the population reading here is atypical in important ways, relative to my concern. Adoption of the NTE hypothesis (in Guy McPherson’s form – i.e., [paraphrasing] “nothing can be done now to stop it”) is spreading, proliferating.

    E.g.: http://carolynbaker.net/, http://transitionvoice.com/ ….

    I’m sure there are other websites, etc., where such proliferation is occurring, but my point is that the Guy’s version of the NTE hypothesis is INFLUENCING INFLUENCERS; it’s influencing those who are influencing those who seek to address the climate crisis or emergency as such, as a crisis or emergency which may possibly be addressed as a problem.

    If I’m correct (and I’m just not sure that I am!) that we may still have a slight chance of averting NTE — if we address this as the emergency it is, and fast — then what we’re talking about here … is basically HOW we SHOULD be talking about what’s occurring, and what the timeline may be. For we’re going to be influencing those who have influence, helping to shape the conversation that the world is having.

    About what is possible and what is impossible.

    And remember, people never attempt the impossible — unless they are quite mad. Or quite foolish. Or hope that doing so might get the helpful attention of space aliens or angels from Heaven….

    Which is why I keep going on about self-fulfilling prophesy. Remember the so-called “butterfly effect”? From Wikipedia: “In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks earlier.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

    It’s somewhat doubtful that conversations are aptly described as “deterministic nonlinear systems,” but “Sensitive dependency on initial conditions” is likely to apply to whatever sort of system conversations are.

    It is entirely likely that a room full of people, in which there is a very large and heavy table that needs moving, will not be able to coordinate their activity to move such a table if the conversation spirals into an “it can’t be done” attractor. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractor ]

    Please forgive my abuse of the attractor concept as a metaphor. I was a poet long before I got into philosophy and science. It’s just how my mind works. I cannot help it.

    I remain at a point in my study of the climate crisis / emergency where it seems that point X (irreversible runway catastrophe) MAY still be averted, if only just barely, by the skin of our teeth. But doing so would require, it seems, a nearly (at least) miraculous, and very surprisingly rapid, systems shift at the level of human culture — which is where MOST of what we call “mind” now operates. [I can explain this, if needed. I do like to dabble in philosophy of mind.]

    If I am right, it is probably only an existential crisis on a global scale that could possibly create the social and psychological conditions in which some of our currently depotentiated potentials might be potentiated or repotentiated. This isn’t mumbo-jumbo. It’s systems theory at the level of social systems. If ever a profound paradigm shift at a meta-level (underlying economics, politics, physical culture, social relations, etc.) lay in potential, but required “initial conditions” of a certain kind to potentiate, the thread of NTE or LTE might just be it. If only that threat could be SEEN by many and FELT, KNOWN….

    Remember, in complex systems leetle tiny conditions may have wildly amazing effects. They can amplify amazingly, though the sequence of events may be difficult or impossible to follow, trace or map. Complexity is … complex!

    Much of our clinging to the present shape of culture, and the resulting physical fallout in the world, belongs to an era or epoch which has already collapsed into utterly ridiculous obsolescence. But most people don’t yet know this. Is it IMPOSSIBLE for them to learn so quickly? In complex systems terms, my answer must be No. It’s not impossible because … well, because all life on Earth is sacred. Because the right thing to do is to serve life’s better potentials.

    And if I’m wrong, well, I’m wrong. But if I am right?

  • More ammo for Guy:
    https://www.newscientist.com/special/worse-climate
    Climate change: It’s even worse than we thought, 10/21/13.

    ‘Five years ago, the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change painted a gloomy picture of our planet’s future. As climate scientists gather evidence for the next report, due in 2014, Michael Le Page gives seven reasons why things are looking even grimmer.”

    The seven, each of which is briefly discussed with a link to a full discussion, are Arctic warming, extreme weather, food production, sea level, planetary feedbacks, human emissions and heat stress. All are turning out much worse than previously expected.

  • A Then a Miracle Occurs

    http://ojotaylor.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/then-a-miracle-occurs-cartoon.jpg

    The official t-shirt of Hopium Peddlers

  • For an explanation as to why I’m exceeding 2 post daily limit, see:

    Comment on What I have learned, what we should be thankful for, what remains to be done by ulvfugl10/21/2013 12:11 PM@ James Martin

    If anyone here would like me to strictly adhere to the 2 post limit, do let me know.

    =====================================

    Ulvfugl said:

    “Re self-fulfilling prophesy seems such a trivial non-issue, not worth addressing. There are a few thousand people who read this blog and have heard of NTE, out of 7 billion +. The dynamic forces that are in sway, regarding the future are so enormous that social movements, even quite large ones with strong organisations and doctrines have very little impact, e.g. Greenpeace.”

    ……

    I respectfully disagree. What is said in this forum (NBL) may be read by a small fraction of the general population of the world, but the population reading here is atypical in important ways, relative to my concern. Adoption of the NTE hypothesis (in Guy McPherson’s form – i.e., [paraphrasing] “nothing can be done now to stop it”) is spreading, proliferating.

    E.g.: http://carolynbaker.net/, http://transitionvoice.com/ ….

    I’m sure there are other websites, etc., where such proliferation is occurring, but my point is that the Guy’s version of the NTE hypothesis is INFLUENCING INFLUENCERS; it’s influencing those who are influencing those who seek to address the climate crisis or emergency as such, as a crisis or emergency which may possibly be addressed as a problem.

    If I’m correct (and I’m just not sure that I am!) that we may still have a slight chance of averting NTE — if we address this as the emergency it is, and fast — then what we’re talking about here … is basically HOW we SHOULD be talking about what’s occurring, and what the timeline may be. For we’re going to be influencing those who have influence, helping to shape the conversation that the world is having.

    About what is possible and what is impossible.

    And remember, people never attempt the impossible — unless they are quite mad. Or quite foolish. Or hope that doing so might get the helpful attention of space aliens or angels from Heaven….

    Which is why I keep going on about self-fulfilling prophesy. Remember the so-called “butterfly effect”? From Wikipedia: “In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks earlier.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

    It’s somewhat doubtful that conversations are aptly described as “deterministic nonlinear systems,” but “Sensitive dependency on initial conditions” is likely to apply to whatever sort of system conversations are.

    It is entirely likely that a room full of people, in which there is a very large and heavy table that needs moving, will not be able to coordinate their activity to move such a table if the conversation spirals into an “it can’t be done” attractor. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractor ]

    Please forgive my abuse of the attractor concept as a metaphor. I was a poet long before I got into philosophy and science. It’s just how my mind works. I cannot help it.

    I remain at a point in my study of the climate crisis / emergency where it seems that point X (irreversible runway catastrophe) MAY still be averted, if only just barely, by the skin of our teeth. But doing so would require, it seems, a nearly (at least) miraculous, and very surprisingly rapid, systems shift at the level of human culture — which is where MOST of what we call “mind” now operates. [I can explain this, if needed. I do like to dabble in philosophy of mind.]

    If I am right, it is probably only an existential crisis on a global scale that could possibly create the social and psychological conditions in which some of our currently depotentiated potentials might be potentiated or repotentiated. This isn’t mumbo-jumbo. It’s systems theory at the level of social systems. If ever a profound paradigm shift at a meta-level (underlying economics, politics, physical culture, social relations, etc.) lay in potential, but required “initial conditions” of a certain kind to potentiate, the thread of NTE or LTE might just be it. If only that threat could be SEEN by many and FELT, KNOWN….

    Remember, in complex systems leetle tiny conditions may have wildly amazing effects. They can amplify amazingly, though the sequence of events may be difficult or impossible to follow, trace or map. Complexity is … complex!

    Much of our clinging to the present shape of culture, and the resulting physical fallout in the world, belongs to an era or epoch which has already collapsed into utterly ridiculous obsolescence. But most people don’t yet know this. Is it IMPOSSIBLE for them to learn so quickly? In complex systems terms, my answer must be No. It’s not impossible because … well, because all life on Earth is sacred. Because the right thing to do is to serve life’s better potentials.

    And if I’m wrong, well, I’m wrong. But if I am right?

  • @ Robin Datta – I wrote, “The embodiment and practice of simplicity, sharing, and love gives rise to wisdom, stability, and happiness.” You replied,

    “All that stuff is “of”s in “awareness” “of”. Try dropping the “of”s. There are eight preliminary stages with many substages that have to be traversed by most. Various persons are at various stages. A guide to it is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, available free online in various translations and commentaries.”

    The translation and commentaries I use now is the one I acquired in a semester course on the Yoga Sutras at the U. of Hawaii, written by I.K. Taimni, where I was enrolled in the master’s program in Eastern philosophy.

    I wrote, “Those who deeply hold these principles in their hearts and minds will find themselves in synchrony with the higher potentials of the Universe. And you replied,
    “Yes, but it is all still in the realm of time-space-causation.”

    Robin, you have consistently shown contempt for the manifested reality of space, time, and causation. You seem to concur with those spiritual teachings that regard this world and life in it as some sort of cosmic mistake that the aspirant for realization should seek to leave as soon as possible in order to transcend to some sort of imagined absolute nirvana. This was the attitude of Hinayana Buddhist followers, for example. This stance ignores a basic understanding of many realized souls in India and elsewhere that this world just as it is has its reality in and as the Divine. I am That, you are that, all of this is That, and there is nothing other than That Divine Reality. Ramana Maharshi put it this way, “The world is illusory, Brahmin alone is real. Brahmin is the world.” There is only God. There is nothing other than God. God alone is. (Sufi)
    Robin you are not alone in your beliefs, and have every right to hold them. My only purpose is to share my own understandings, not to convince or convert anyone.

    One more thing in the spirit of calling your attention to a consistent tendency I notice in your sharings. If I should say to you that the full moon rises in the evening as a round disc of light, you might respond that it does not rise, but only seems to do so due to the rotation of the Earth. And further that the moon is not actually round, but only seems so because of our limited visual perspective. In truth it exhibits many irregular features that a true disc would not. In short, you seem to have a compulsion to find critical comments to whatever one proposes to you. This has its value and right uses, but you might consider giving it a rest from time to time, just for the sake of smoother communications? Thanks for your continuing comments which often evince deep understandings.

    Dear Ulvfugl, you ask, “How, in precise terms, does love reduce CO2 emissions ?” Because I love my fellow living beings I try to use less electricity, and limit my automotive travel, thus reducing my CO2 footprint. Many others do the same. If I held the well being of others as of no concern to me, or even felt contempt for them, I would say to hell with my CO2 footprints!

    You also ask, “can anybody offer a single example where the course of human history has clearly been changed by love ?”
    One word answer: Jesus. You may think the waves of change this man stirred up by his love were good or bad overall, but it is hard to deny that he did make some pretty big waves….

    @ Christy Ceraso – I didn’t say that love was not a difficult path that would involve one in a dangerous struggle with the forces and agents of unlove in our world. Real love as opposed to a fantasy consolation is a radical departure from protecting and consoling one’s ego. It is also true however, that there are deep rewards in following this difficult and demanding path. My own ideas of love have more in common with Voltaire’s Candide than Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive thinking. I would recommend Barbera Ehrenreich’s excellent book Bright Sided as an antidote to escapist fantasies of the power of an ego-deluded simalcrum of love. I also like to remember Rumi’s dictum: Counterfeit money only proves one thing: the existence of real money. Accept no substitutes! Don’t let all he worldly shams pretending to be the real thing sour you on the precious reality of real, courageous, demanding, effective love…. Maybe our love will not drive us to make the heroic sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made, but who knows where the path of real love may lead us?

  • @wildwoman

    What a silly comment you made!

    “Better yet, move to Japan and help Tepco, who reduced wages by 20% in 2011 as further incentive to get that mess cleaned up.”

    Dear oh dear ! Of course their wages should be reduced as a punishment for failure.

    Here in the UK, failure is rewarded. We’ve had failed banks and the directors get big pay-offs. Remember the BP Oil spill? Tony Hayward recently got a 11m pay-day, and really he should have been forced to commit seppuku in 2011.

    You’ve been swimming in the dark for so long you’ve forgotten which way is up.

    @Jeff

    In that article 3 of the links were dead, but 2 were still OK.

    What is there to discuss exactly? You’ve read the article, now what are you going to do? Let me tell you… you will do JACK SHIT, so what is the point of reading those articles?

    That is why I encourage anyone to verify things themselves through their own experiments and experience and then you might take action, because apart from anything else you will be near the action.

    The people involved in the clean up are cleaning it up, that’s good enough for me. Is your point that there is something any of us can do, which is in our power to do, which we are not currently doing? If so, name it.

    …so you are going to “ignore” me now. Did you stomp off to your bedroom as you typed that in a flounce, sniffing with tears? Oh dear… another adult baby who cannot tolerate contrarian opinions.

    @ulvfugl

    “They have nothing of interest or value to contribute”
    CORRECTION: You forgot to add “in YOUR opinion”

    and your opinion is irrelevant to me, in fact the only thing your opinion does is make me feel very happy to be in the opposite camp to you. I can celebrate that.

    You said you tried to save the forests and failed. Not surprising because you are a loser, someone who gave up, has a deathwish and is now just sitting on his derriere waiting for someone else to save it.

    I’m glad your opinion is contrary to mine, I’m delighted to disagree with you.

    You are already the living dead. I just hope there are no impressionable youngsters reading your endless bile you pissant.

    Pissant:
    “Pissant is an epithet for an inconsequential, irrelevant, or worthless person, especially one who is irritating or contemptible out of proportion to his or her perceived significance.”

  • You may be reading this on a smartphone, while flying on a plane, or while nibbling on a bit of chocolate. And therefore, a new study asserts, it’s entirely possible that you’re enjoying the products of slave labor.

    As Quartz notes, a new report from the Walk Free Foundation, The Global Slavery Index, has estimated that there are 30 million slaves in the world today, with more than half of them in production hubs such as India, China and Russia.

    The children suffer, there is no redemption.

    .

    @ James
    If there WAS another forum, without rules, it would be dominated by just one guy that has nothing better to do than sit at his computer drinking 2 liter bottles of Coke and eating jumbo bags of Doritos while chain-smoking and picking lint out of his navel.

    @ Wendy
    Agreed. But, when you think about what side you are on, do you really want to be on ANY side? The whole idea of “what side are you on” is maybe a problem. (that’s concerned trolling)

    Do you really think that the folks that make up all the different environmental groups could get along as a tribe? Can you really see all the different environmentalist organizations getting along – and getting along with all the different social causes and political leanings and etc., etc., etc.??? Greenpeace, Sierra Club, PETA, Deep Green Resistance, Earth First!, Earth Liberation Front, etc.????? Really?

    We are doomed because we cannot get along. If we had the whole group of regular posters living in a small community – would we get along? Some say do permaculture, some say plant no crops, build no cities, and some say let’s do a little civilization and try to do it better – we would be just like we are now eventually… IMO.

  • @ Ulvfugl and whoever cares to read

    I think love has many forms, including the forms of those in the violent revolutionary forces that try to beat tyranny back. The folks behind Ghandi were – I am sure – a part of the British leaving, and they also were motivated by love, imo. Also the Irish, kicking out England. They Irish people love/d each other, they love/d their land, they love/d their culture, they love/d life, and because of their love they risked/lost their lives to protect those things. I used to be a pacifist. I have changed my mind on that, along with love.

    The ideal of the peaceful lamb, along with karma, now appears to actually be a deceptive image imposed upon us to make us think that if we revolt, ie., are violent or harm others or are even angry, we will be punished, if not now than in the afterlife. And it keeps us in line to get us to think that passive, receptive-to-gawd-love is the ideal state, filled with rewards. I can hear the harps playing now.

    The permaculture movement is motivated by love, I think. Here is a link to a giant project in China that was successful:

    I think it was John Liu’s love that inspired him to do this project, and to share it in this film. Also all the love of the people who live in this place who worked on the restoration project made it a success.

    There are so many examples of love in action being successful to make significant changes… there are just not enough people being that brave to overthrow the system. If just the idea of love was helpful, we would be a lot better off. But there has to be action, which takes courage. Check out the origin of the word courage:

    Middle English (denoting the heart, as the seat of feelings): from Old French corage, from Latin cor ‘heart.’

  • @ Wendy

    Hi, pleased to meet you. Re Fight Club, I meant when I first came here, a long time ago, and yes, I enjoy it, the more the merrier, but as I said, it excludes a whole section of quiet gentle people whom I greatly value and whose voices MUST be heard, so either we self-police and stay courteous or if the idiot trolls make polite conversation here impossible we will have the two comments per day rule enforced, which inhibits fluent discussion.

    Rob repeats exactly the same neurotic comment several times on every thread, and after reading it hundreds of times, it gets tedious. He doesn’t appreciate how ridiculous it makes him appear, so he needs a gentle reminder. I’m being very kind to him. He could engage in normal civil conversation but he chooses not to.

    @ Roger Ellis

    :-)

    @ mike k

    Your answers to my questions show that you have no insight into the predicament. Individuals like yourself choosing to limit use of electricity and automotive travel makes no difference to NTE.

    You simply do not understand. Where do you think the greatest percentages of greenhouse gas emissions actually come from ? Have you ever bothered to check ? Love simply doesn’t apply. And you think that Christianity has been a positive influence, rather than one of the major historical drivers of this catastrophe ? Well, dream on.

    @ Dean of Trolling. Nothing of interest or value.

  • @ Christy Ceraso

    Yes, well, it depends very much upon how the word is defined, doesn’t it ? Eros, caritas, agape, metta, etc.

    Love for country, for one’s own people, etc. But what was originally mentioned was unconditional universal love, which is the sort of saintly ideal which is all-inclusive.

    And my original point was, when you look at the actual examples, they all seem to exclude the wildlife, they are all anthropocentric.

    There are quite a few groups which follow the basic buddhist/hindu religious path toward spiritual enlightenment, but don’t accept the bodhisattva ideal as the ultimate achievement, because they see that it is necessary to be a warrior, which involves violence and killing.

    In the modern western soceities – you mentioned this earlier – this seems unattractive, even shocking, because we have comfortable and secure lives, and if there’s a problem we’ve been used to calling the police and turning to the law. But other parts of the world and historically, that’s never been the case.

    If some girl got raped or an old man beaten and robbed, there were no police and no courts. The men of the village or community had to catch the culprit themselves, and the people had to decide what to do and administer justice as they saw it, and so part of ‘love’ was the death penalty, which taught everyone, as children, that YOU DO NOT DO THAT, because, if you do, we will behead you. And thus, there was no crime.

    For us, that seems primitive and barbaric. But seen in it’s proper context, it was – and is – the only practical and honourable way to maintain civil order and safety. The trouble is, that as soon as the community grows too large, so that people become anonymous and can vanish into cities, and corruption grows and so forth, it all breaks down.

    Anyway, back to what you said.

    The argument re non-violence, as I see it, is basically strategic or tactical, in that if you are in a conflict and intend to win, you don’t let your opponent use their best weapon or best skill. And all of these powerful dominant controlling forces on the planet today keep their position by violent means. That’s what they excel at. So to go head to head on their terms guarantees that you lose.

    That’s why they use agents provocateurs, because it makes it appear as if the non-violent resistance is being violent, and allows them to unleash their force.

    You can argue that ‘love’ is involved here somewhere, as a concept, and maybe it is, I’m not absolutely certain it isn’t but I can’t see it’s very useful.

    Zapatistas have given a lot of thought to this stuff, in terms of its practical application in the real world.

    http://www.leadershiplearning.org/system/files/Some%20Zapatista%20Principles%20%2526%20Practices.pdf

    http://www.zapatistacoffee.com/zapatista/EZLN%20Revolutionary%20Laws.htm

  • Dean of Reading has given us our daily dose of LOL humor with his claim that the workers in Fukushima are “cleaning it up.” Even garbage has its uses.

  • James R. Martin Says:

    “Where can we continue our discussions here when we’ve used up our two posts a day limit? Is there another forum we can take this to?”

    ulvfugl is right – when a new post appears, the older post has been fair game for reasonable discussion that violates the 2 post rule.

    My bad for bringing it up – since I didn’t consider the Overwhelmed post.

    But don’t blame me, I’m old and pitiful.

  • @ Bob S.

    Hahaha, Sssshhhhhh, Bob, this is strictly unofficial, I was just hoping that Guy is too overwhelmed to notice ;-)
    Seriously, I’m trying to explain stuff, if people want to have an intelligent conversation, I’ll try and restrain my impulses, and we can see how we manage with self-moderation and see if it works, and IF it does, then I expect our leader will follow the Zapatista Principle and obey the will of the people, but it MIGHT NOT, because we tried before and it didn’t.

    Imo, it would be good if we could work through the list of feedbacks in detail… but maybe that’s too ambitious ?

    And please don’t try using ‘old and pitiful’ as an excuse here, it just means you deserve to get kicked more because you’ve caused more trouble for longer ;-)

  • We are conditioned to to compete, to fight, especially men. And then there is that hormone thing. And, we all have valid reasons to be furious, but we are unable to direct our fury where it is deserved, so we take it out on each other, the people closest to us. Just like in “nuclear” families.

    I come to this forum because you people are closest to me in the realm that we are talking about, NTE; I could say that you are my NTE family. We didn’t choose each other (that we know of), but here we are together! Each of us here is working on digesting this information/reality and we are all responding to it and to each other in our own ways. That includes denial, impatience, etc.
    We are all connecting here, though, and even though it is kind of adversarial at times, etc. it is still connection, which I know I need. I find the insults exchanged sometimes comical, but also sometimes painfully sad, or annoyingly repetitive, or just plain immature imo, and then I just scroll on when I get bored. Sometimes I am tempted to join in.

    We have little experience with cooperation, with mutual respect, but an internet forum is a version of attempting that. It is connection, but what quality is up to us all.

  • As purpose and meaning are subsumed by futility even hedonistic pleasures become irritating. Every gesture, every move, a mockery. The hollow human down in the hollow has appeared at this time, without fanfare. A bad actor full of obviously insincere fury, disinterested in the performance, no longer eager for the wage or wager. There is no appropriate reward for failure and the game is fixed and broken. Even the house is losing now. Consumed by guilt, and frustration with those too ignorant to feel guilt, consumed by cold flames without much sensation… at least around here. Numb to the dying day… at least around here.

    The sunset looks fake, like it was contrived by an illustrator to look like the penultimate simplified sunset. Or maybe its just painted on the ceiling. Or on a mirrored glass chamber. Or maybe, like the rainbow, it only exists in my mind.

    I sit by a polluted gutter, or computer monitor, watching dead things float by. Killed by invisible radiation. Listening to nearly dead fools who think they have forever sewn up, chatter on, and on, about angst’s.

    The cockroach circles inside the glass jar, trapped… or maybe that’s me in the mirror, or gas chamber, when I want to scream but my throat tightens and won’t bear a peep. How can I say what is now pointless to say, to people who don’t want to know anyway? So I just circle inside this gas jar, for exercise. And I planted some zucchini today, under the gas chamber sky, just for the exercise. Maybe there will be some to give away, if anyone is interested.

  • When I said the “hormone thing”, to clarify, I was having an image of two bucks banging their antlers together. Hmmmm, why do male animals fight? What are they competing for?

    I read sometimes that some of the regular women forum participants have not been as active. Maybe they are not only not impressed, but disgusted. Just a thought. Not meant as an insult, really.

  • @logspirit,
    Thanks for that.
    My limnology professor once said, when discussing zooplankton, that it is good that they are not sentient, since over 90% of them are lost to predation every time there is a hatching. He said, if humans lost 90% of our offspring to predation we would go insane. We have not yet lost 90% of our offspring, but we can see it in the near future… and I can see the knowledge is putting us all a little on edge.
    I think I may have to go re-read Allen Ginsberg’s Howl; the opening lines are buzzing in my mind…
    “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,”

  • The uncertainties are what feedbacks are now in play, how they will play out, how long they will take to play out and what the impacts will be. With all that uncertainty, it’s a brave, maybe foolish, call to say that virtually all life on the planet will cease well before the end of this century, possibly within a few decades.

  • @Jeff

    You are the one who is garbage…. at least if I was genuinely concerned the paid professionals weren’t doing their very best, and it was AS threatening as you claim, I would be doing more than just re-circulating usless unconfirmed links and speculation from JOURNALISTS linked on poxy AMATEUR websites from the comfort of your bedroom.

    What are you doing? From 1000s of miles away… thought so… naff all mate. So you might as well go back to reading your links and passing the information on an endless circle jerk… keep thinking you make a difference…. lol

  • @ulvfugl

    you are a pissant and you know it

  • Then there are those “sovereign citizens,” or, as they are known in the UK, “freemen of the land” bunch of nutters.

    But one of their bits of legal arcana that caught my attention is the idea that when a law enforcement officer, say, asks you, “Do you understand?”, they really mean, “Do you stand under,” that is, accept your place lower down in the totem pole and the contractual obligations that go with it (taxes are for the little people).

    “Do you understand?” (Recognise my obvious superiority, and stand underme).

    “You don’t understand!” (You’re a slippery little feller, aren’t you? Submit, damn you. Submit).

    I think there might be something to it.

  • I read it all! 4 a.m., but so much good writing in the thread. The contention has brought out good stuff in all. Sincere efforts always appreciated to make us think and communicate more clearly.

    Something in Science that reminds us: “Always check your premises. Re-check your data. Re-examine your conclusions.” Especially this one, when the emotions must run high, and the slippery evasions of Denial attempt to seduce us away from Fact.

    And yes, an old thread seems like fair game for open-ended discussion. Participation is completely voluntary once a new one has superseded it.

    Just having ulvfugl refresh us with his collection of links and sites (which I copy, but seem to lose) was worth staying up the night to read.

    @James R. Martin — glad you expounded your more complete thoughts. But rather than making an effort avoid “self-fulfilling prophecy” — the fear that we will discourage positive actions by others in seeking out and discussing information about our likely future — don’t you hear Guy saying, many, many times, “Resistance is fertile” — not “futile”.

    I think that he means, quite subtly most times, to challenge us to take the actions that we should have taken decades back, to dismantle IndCiv, WHETHER OR NOT it saves our sorry asses at this late date.

    In other words, it’s not “hush, hush, you’ll scare the children,” but “I’d rather know the Truth, wouldn’t you?”, and go through the Vale of Despond, and then come out on the other side to — to? — to what? Resist? Resist and live a Most Excellent remaining lifetime.

    You do it because it’s the right thing to do, a “random act” of defiance at what the teeming human majority has brought upon so much innocent Life.

    You STOP the Cars. You eliminate the Cattle. You turn off the Coal burners. B. A. M. N. Oh, and you turn those now-empty pastures into fast-growing forests.

    You don’t cringe at my specifics, do you? Because this is what your words imply that OUR words should inspire other people toward. (Not just join some liberal group that’s going to go blah-blah-blah in meeting after stultifying meeting.) In that sense, our discussions here are but preliminary to consider that Resistance, if we can find the nobility in ourselves.

    “But I have spoke
    With one that saw him die, who did report
    That very frankly he confessed his treasons,
    Implored your highness’ pardon, and set forth
    A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
    Became him like the leaving it. He died
    As one that had been studied in his death
    To throw away the dearest thing he owed
    As ’twere a careless trifle.” — Macbeth

    “A deep repentance”. Humble contrition. Accept likely Doom, but don’t give up. Which is truly what can be Heroic about humans, and we’ve all appreciated those stories as they come to us.

    Oh, speaking of which, (as Mike k does) do the words “Snowden” and “Nobel” roll around together in your mind as they do in mine? (If we’re so “influential”, how ’bout making this one happen!) Seems like they should reel one award back in, and give one out to a special Hero.

    Yes, Wendy, Ginsberg helped get a lot going, the ability of a powerfully creative mind to influence the course of an entire culture through the many he inspired. I was lucky to squeeze into a space on the floor at his feet at a university reading, but I had little appreciation then of the great soul I was hearing.

  • @ Dean of Reading

    You contribute nothing of interest or value. Stupid inflammatory insults and trolling that disrupt discussion must stop or else Guy will close the comment box and we’ll be back to the 2 comments a day rule.

    @ Tony

    It appears that’s just how you see it. Remember, I’ve been through all this with you about two months ago, and for you it’s as if that never happened, none of the information seems to have been retained in your memory.

    @ Christy Ceraso

    A lot of assumptions in what you say, some of which have been haggled over at length on this blog, and are contentious issues out there in academia.

    Wendy mentions the prof who says zooplankton are not sentient. Aren’t they ? Paramecium can have intention. But perhaps it depends upon how one defines sentience, and then at out end of the spectrum, how many humans are truly sentient ?

    Why do men, and women, fight ? It’s for LIFE. Any organism needs a space, a place, to BE. And in a world of limits, that means defending your, or else you cease to exist. That rule goes all the way from bacteria to humans.

    And then you need sufficient area to get the resources and nutrients to continue to exist and to reproduce.

    Countless strategies have evolved to satisfy this demand.

    We are conditioned to to compete, to fight, especially men.

    Yes, I had this idea instilled into me by the pacifist left wing anti war hippy revolution movement of the ’60s and by the Quakers before that.

    I now think it’s all wrong and back to front. I think we are primates with a certain inherent legacy from our distant ancestral past. That means, that we come into the world as wild monkey children, and we have to be taught to behave, to be socially responsible.

    I probably mostly agree with Robert Sapolsky on this stuff.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_sapolsky_the_uniqueness_of_humans.html

    So, as youngsters, we’re pretty nasty little beasts. We don’t need to be conditioned to compete or to fight, we need to be taught how to treat one another decently.

    So, in these Western soceities, we get domesticated, for many generations, just like farm animals, which reduces us to rather pathetic crippled vestiges of what we could be.

    So, there’s a conundrum. If we release the primitive savagery of our ancestry and let it rip – as in Fight Club – all you civilised ladies will shriek with horror, because you don’t want blood and guts all over the nice parlour carpet.

    So that fiercesome terrible yang power has to be contained and repressed, or else it gets locked away in the Max Pen or in psychiatric wards tranquilised out of existence, or else sent off into the military to slaughter and rape innocent brown people faraway and out of sight.

    As I see it Christianity has been one of the means used to neuter and domesticate this yang, to make wild natural humans into neurotic domesticated slaves.

    But obviously, letting this yang have unrestrained freedom is a disaster, because murder and rape and looting and mayhem doesn’t really serve anyone’s interests in the longer term. So, the problem is, how to harness this force so that it serves and respects the yin, the feminine, the gentle, the weak, the quiet ?

    I think that the best way is to teach young children how to fight. Not to tell them they must not fight. All this stuff from Christianity that says that violence is evil, blahblah, has made everyone misunderstand.
    People who are afraid get into fights.

    People who learn martial arts and who understand how to defend themselves learn how to avoid ever getting into fights. They learn that you don’t EVER fight, not unless you’re absolutely willing to die. That’s not very often, and not over many issues.

    Seems to me, we have had our RIGHT to fight stolen from us, by the people who OWN us. Along with all our other freedoms.

    Seems to me, if I have a serious dispute, with some other man, over a serious issue of honour, it is MY RIGHT to settle that, with HIM.

    It has nothing to do with the police or the state or anyone else. This is as ancient as the stags fighting, or the wolves fighting, and as fundamental as eating.

    What has happened, in the process of domestication, is that cunning middlemen have moved in, they’ve said, we’ll take away your right, and we’ll do the fighting for you, and then we’ll send you the bill and you pay us for doing the job. Well, fuck that. I never made that agreement, that was somebody else who fell for that trick.

    Perhaps logspirit would like to comment about that sometime ?

  • It is well to remember always that we are living on The Planet of the Apes; do not expect intelligence, decency, or simple courtesy, except on special blessed occasions and with very rare and beautiful people. The average domesticated ape is only interested in protecting his own turf and his perch in the tree. You don’t exist for him except in so far as you aid or hinder his territorial and status ambitions.

  • Yes, I have quit – I don’t care about anything anymore – I have curtailed my participation in Industrial Civilization to the extent possible, short of killing myself or stripping naked and wandering into the wilderness.

    I am a refugee of Industrial Civilization.

    Industrial Civilization was killing me slowly anyway, and it long ago killed in me any hope of any semblance of a “good life.” Sure, I could have joined the Resistance or a charitable organization – but, once I realized the futility of any of that (thanks to NBL!) I just decided that doing nothing was a hell of a lot better than what I had been doing (paying a mortgage, working, driving a car every day).

    I could spend all day downtown in front of the state capitol with a sign “No Nukes” or “Free the Greenpeace 30” but that will have the same impact as me sitting down by the polluted South Platte River every day watching the water rush by. Who Cares? Not me.

    Personally I think my Resistance could be pretty effective if only it would catch on, if everyone would just quit – just quit buying stuff altogether – we could probably speed up the collapse so that Every Living Thing on Earth might have a chance…

    However, I have often voiced my willingness to join any real Resistance that has a real chance and a real commitment to “The Solution.”

    The Solution: 90% of humans need to die soon, but first they must help us dismantle the toxic infrastructure of Industrial Civilization and the survivors must live in harmony with Nature: plant no crops, build no cities.

    I would willingly give my life, right now, in support of such an effort – you can use me as a human sandbag on a nuclear power plant decommissioning project.

    I have given up all my earlier aspirations – my privileged white guy well-educated American aspirations – and that is my contribution to the cause for now.

  • I’ve posted anew, and included a video from my recent presentation in Boulder, Colorado. It’s here.

  • Talking Heads Nothing But Flowers (HQ)

    Hello everyone. My dog Sandy (yellow Lab) of 14 1/2 years died last week. That was a bummer but at least she’s in no pain now. A proper grave was dug and now she’s returning her nutrients to the soil. Circle of life. Sandy will be missed.

    Harvesting the last row of spuds today for winter storage and planting some garlic – ‘Music’ cultivar. Lots of worm castings were made this year by accumulating large piles of deciduous tree leaves, Betula, Acer, Quercus sp. in a partially shaded location. The leaf piles are turned about once a month with a pitch fork (unless they’re covered with snow) and sometime in July (seven to eight months later) there is a fine pile of worm castings where the leaf piles used to be. Worm castings will be placed on the raised beds today as well.

    As Orlov indicated some moons ago some people have to be excluded from the community ie; agents provocateurs. Who needs em?

  • You crazy, Man.
    You spends yo life typing away when you could be flying to faraway lands for study about how the stupid assholes are drowning & dying from UN-walkable streets (they be full up wid watah, Mama).

  • Very sorry to hear about your dog, ogardener.

    Here’s an update on Guy’s No.4 feedback re the Amazon Forest.

    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.

    The Amazon rain forest’s dry season lasts three weeks longer than it did 30 years ago

    The new findings forecast a more parched future for the Amazon rain forest than the climate report released last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the study authors said. The IPCC models predict the Amazon dry season will last three to 10 days longer by 2100.

    But with the dry season already spanning an extra week each decade since 1979, the Texas team said the future effects will be more severe.

    “The dry season over the southern Amazon is already marginal for maintaining rain forest,” Fu said. “At some point, if it becomes too long, the rain forest will reach a tipping point.”

    Fu and her colleagues analyzed rainfall patterns across the Southern Amazon rain forest since 1979, and plugged the data into 50 simulations from eight climate models. The climate models from the IPCC’s AR5 report, released in September, reported smaller dry season changes than actually measured since 1979. This means the IPCC models likely underestimate future predictions of rain forest climate change effects, the researchers conclude.

    http://www.livescience.com/40573-amazon-rainforest-drying-out.html

  • Very sorry to hear about your dog, ogardener.

    Here’s an update on Guy’s No.4 feedback re the Amazon Forest.

    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.

    The Amazon rain forest’s dry season lasts three weeks longer than it did 30 years ago

    The new findings forecast a more parched future for the Amazon rain forest than the climate report released last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the study authors said. The IPCC models predict the Amazon dry season will last three to 10 days longer by 2100.

    But with the dry season already spanning an extra week each decade since 1979, the Texas team said the future effects will be more severe.

    “The dry season over the southern Amazon is already marginal for maintaining rain forest,” Fu said. “At some point, if it becomes too long, the rain forest will reach a tipping point.”

    Fu and her colleagues analyzed rainfall patterns across the Southern Amazon rain forest since 1979, and plugged the data into 50 simulations from eight climate models. The climate models from the IPCC’s AR5 report, released in September, reported smaller dry season changes than actually measured since 1979. This means the IPCC models likely underestimate future predictions of rain forest climate change effects, the researchers conclude.

    http://www.livescience.com/40573-amazon-rainforest-drying-out.html

  • Henry: “don’t you hear Guy saying, many, many times, “Resistance is fertile” — not “futile”.”

    I have. But I disagree with the premise that people ever attempt what they deem to be impossible. That’s my opinion. It’s open for discussion, but I won’t be easily persuaded.

    “I think that he means, quite subtly most times, to challenge us to take the actions that we should have taken decades back, to dismantle IndCiv, WHETHER OR NOT it saves our sorry asses at this late date.”

    I’ve been theorizing about eco-social transformation for a long, long time. My resultant (and evolving) opinions are uncommon. But they are what the are. And a crucial part of my theoretical orientation is that “IndCiv” cannot be eradicated strictly via resistance (as the term is generally understood), such as by (e.g.) sabotage. Some carefully thought out resistance may be necessary, but it will be insufficient. The reason for this is that what people are FOR is vastly more important than what they are against, what they oppose. So the crucial strategic and tactical approach is a very specific kind of direct action, the creative form of direct action which stands mostly outside of conventional politics.

    In this White Review article, David Graeber says basically what I mean to say.:

    “Well the reason anarchists like direct action is because it means refusing to recognise the legitimacy of structures of power. Or even the necessity of them. Nothing annoys forces of authority more than trying to bow out of the disciplinary game entirely and saying that we could just do things on our own. Direct action is a matter of acting as if you were already free.

    The classic example is the well. There’s a town where water is monopolised and the mayor is in bed with the company that monopolises the water. If you were to protest in front of the mayor’s house, that’s protest, and if you were to blockade the mayor’s house, it’s civil disobedience, but it’s still not direct action. Direct action is when you just go and dig your own well, because that’s what people would normally do if they didn’t have water.”

    http://www.thewhitereview.org/interviews/interview-with-david-graeber/

    I theoretically side with what is known, sometimes, as “prefigurative” politics and social movements.
    [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefigurative_politics ]

    I have very little faith in the possibility of working within the existing corrupted governments for the kind of change which is necessary. So my preference is to give energy and support to social change efforts which don’t depend upon creating conventional political power, and which also avoid the whole “hurdle of majority” (which is the effort to establish a majority before the desired changes are enacted.

    Now, my views on all of this may be “pie in the sky,” as folks like ulvfgl have often insisted. But as a social theorist, my views are based on careful analysis and observation — and represent what seems to me our best hope, even if that hope is a slim one.

    One might say that I believe beauty, love, goodness… is more powerful as a motivator than ugliness, fear, hatred, etc…. Indeed, I pretty much invert the conventional and historically entrenched “common sense” notion that people need to have goodness imposed upon them, forced upon them, that they will not freely choose goodness. In other words, my theory of ethics isn’t shame or fear oriented, nor punishment oriented. I believe people will freely choose to be good when they know they can choose to be so.

    Some reading here are probably choking on my use of the word “good,” and thinking “this fool doesn’t realize that hardly anyone agrees on what is “good”. And that’s fine. I have an answer to such objections. But my answer to that objection would raise many other objections, which would proliferate in all directions. So I can’t present my thinking in a post, or ten.

    But let me touch momentarily on this notion of good. Good, as I use the term, has multiple facets, not just one or a few. Aldo Leopold’s “land ethic” comprises one of the facets — “A thing is right [good] when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong [bad] when it tends otherwise.”

    This should be obvious enough, but as Orwell once said “We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

    Only the residents of a nihilistic culture are unfamiliar with the obvious simplicity of goodness. And if it is possible to awaken such an awareness, that possibility is more potent in embodied action than philosophical explanation — thus my “prefigurative” eutopianism.

    eutopia = good place. (not ideal or perfect place)

  • @ James Martin: “So be good for goodness sake…”

    I believe in art, freedom, liberty, justice, peace and understanding. I believe everyone everywhere should be treated fairly. I believe in math and science and I believe most people are generally honest.

    So If I were King… the death toll would be in the millions.

    @ Ulvfugl: Fight Club. Precisely. Or V for Vendetta. All our best heroes and hopes are works of fiction. That’s a problem.

    @ Rob: when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. I think there should be riots in the streets, what we have instead are discussion groups and meetings. Maybe when we out of canned goods, we can riot in earnest.

  • Apologies for double comment. WP is supposed to make that impossible, some very weird glitch.

    @ James Martin

    Now, my views on all of this may be “pie in the sky,” as folks like ulvfgl have often insisted.

    I don’t have any problem with you holding that view, I’m quite pleased that you have actually thought about stuff, I certainly don’t expect or insist that everyone agree with me, I’m amazed when I find anyone who agrees with me, I’m here on NBL because it’s the only place where there are a few people who do…

    But, to clarify, my position is THIS :

    People should do whatever they think is the right thing for THEM to do.

    They should search their hearts and minds and think about the state of the world and then do whatever they think is the right thing for them to do.

    If there is NO answer to this situation, then what IS the answer ?

    I am sincerely trying to be conciliatory, because I am tremendously aware of the agony and grief involved – not yours or mine, but for everyone.

    I don’t know the stats, Guy does, but afaik, there’s only a few thousand people who read this stuff and visit other doomer sites, like RE’s and Ruppert’s and so forth, who really have a grip the real situation.

    Even if it’s hundreds of thousands, heck, even if its millions, it’s still miniscule out of the 7 BILLION, and most are never even going to know what hit them or what the real reasons were, it’ll just happen, like the tsunami, or the collapse of the USSR.

    I’m looking down on all this from a geological measuring scale – thinking like a mountain in Leopold’s terms – and from the mountain’s perspective a million years is no big deal. It’s going to happen, for sure.

    Looking at the graphs for what’s happening to the climate and the oceans, it’s like watching the man jump off the top of the high rise office block. The outcome is not in doubt.

    What to do ?

    What to say to people ?

    I’ve written four essays for xraymike. Every time I struggle like hell with this. I have NO IDEA what to say to people. ‘Your children and grand children are all going to die prematurely’. What kind of a horrible thing is that to say to anyone ?

    But I have to tell the truth. I can’t do anything else, even with tears rolling down my face, and with the realisation it does no good, someone has to say this. No more lies, bullshit, denial, pretending.

    And then what ? We are still alive. Each day. Life is AMAZING.

    If you watch Peter Ward’s videos, he explains how odd and unexpected species made it through previous extinction events, and if they had not, we would not be here. I think we – or some of us who care – have an obligation to try and save other species for as long as possible, to give THEM the best chance.

    It might be pointless. But it might not be. I love them enough to want to do it anyway. While I’m still around.

  • I cannot get over the number of people here who think it is their right to dictate who is and is not welcome to be here. Beyond that, you give value to expressing what you would like to see us do to make you happy as if we are here to be ordered about by people who cannot percieve anything but a dying reality. A living reality is here with us beyond your limited field of existence. Some of us have cultivated a way of recieving and sharing of life that just doesn’t really even recognize the horrors of your nazi like mentality as you try to assert it. You think you are saying and doing valuable action in this assertion that we are ignorant, but the fact you plead with us to save the ocean in the same breath reveals who you know has power of self. Us and not you. Yes I have power to contribute to saving life here if it is possible and no you do not. If you want that power then earn it, trial by fire, but if you think your attempts at bluffing your way on this blog earn anything but quiet observation and a patient waiting for your arrival as you blunder on in your own self created darkness, what are we to say to you? Hmmmm? We wish you the best and we are sorry for your pain, come here, leave here. We’ll stay and help as you thrash about trying to find love and will after it was so mangled within. In the meantime the earth’s living systems do need humans with love and will to care but more, humans need that. We are not to blame for human begavior that lacks both and your attempts to shift your own culpability and harm in not having either, is very understandable. To deny this lack, humans will and are letting this lovely paradise go extinct. You are with that, we against it. So WILDWOMAN, as self appointed leader of those who do not love, since you cannot even try to save even yourself and certainly no other human, nor the oceans, don’t argue with those who can try because, yes they do love still, in spite of it all, still WE DO, and we have joy, compassion, and even the dark wilds of our soul still birthing spirit. You? You have proven to want, to need, to say GIMME, a lot with your self proclamef cabal but not to say I give, I share. I love. Is this how you will live, and die?

  • @ James Martin

    I missed your comment, it went into moderation because it had more than 2 links, which means it has to wait until Guy sees it and releases it.

    What I have learned, what we should be thankful for, what remains to be done

    Yes, I see what you are saying. I don’t think it matters though.

    I have my personal picture of the forces at play on the geopolitical stage, and I don’t even bother to map most political groups at all, because I don’t think they count. Certainly not at the moment.

    I see Russia, China, The Pentagon, CIA, Germany, UK, Saudi Arabia, Transnational Corporations, Banks, etc, a whole lot of players mapped out that influence events and the future. These ideas we have here ? Hahaha

    Well, we shall see… :-)

  • This is my response to Craig Dilworth, author of Too Smart for our Own Good, a scholarly book on how we are destroying ourselves:

    Craig, I really do understand how one can give up hope in the face of what is happening, and the worse that is to come. I have felt the need to give up many times, and have succumbed to it, only to find some inner spark in me refused to go cold and die out. I have no hope that we can avoid paying the terrible karmic price we are heading into. Civilization as we know it will collapse, and in some sense it is just and proper that it should do so. Our hope must be in the possibilities inherent in a post-collapse world. What we may do now needs to be done from that perspective. Those we seek to serve are the possible survivors of collapse. We need to create now a way of life nurtured in small groups that can offer new ways and meanings for those who come after us. Some of us must learn the lessons of our colossal failures, and create a better way of being human that will lead to a better world. Whether we label that new way as spiritual or just practical matters little. What matters is to devote our creative energies to envisioning a better way, and how to birth and nurture it in a post- collapse world. Within your own research Craig are crucial seeds for understanding our failure, that can help us design ways to avoid that in our possible future.

  • @ulvfugl AKA “the perfect personification of a pissant”

    You must have had some serious butt-hurt in your earlier years.

    All of your posts ring of stinging butt-pain (and unemployment).

    Your posts are completely barren of anything worthwhile… what a basket case you are.

    How many mental illnesses have you got?

  • Gary, you wrote: “Want to change undesirable human activity? Work on the culture!”

    This begs the question, who is going to do this work to change culture, and how are they going to do it?

    The who is individual human beings, and the how is that they must find ways to first free themselves from the conditionings of their culture, then find better ways to form a new culture, then join with others to persuade many others to understand and support this process, until they have enough members of the old culture transformed to begin to shift the remaining conditioned cultural victims to participate sufficiently to launch a new cultural reality for the failed model that needs to be discarded.

    (Wow, that sentence got a bit out of hand, but I stand by what it basically conveys.) Of course the devil is in the details, as always.
    The first step is when individuals become detached and objective observers of their culture, and also aware of their own cultural conditioning, including many lies they have been sold and unconsciously bought into. So it is not only the defective culture out there that we must learn to critique, but our own participation in abetting it that we must uncover. In this process feedback and support from others similarly engaged is very useful and often absolutely necessary to accomplish what can be a trying endeavor. Meeting this need for help from each other can be the occasion for forming the small groups that will be the main vehicle for engendering the cultural revolution that is needed.

    Now as to the strategies and tactics needed to accomplish the assuredly tall order sketched out above, I have a bunch of ideas, but that will have to wait until I get some responses that tell me there are some folks out there who are open to and ready for something seemingly pretty far outside the boxes they may be familiar with. You Gary, Jack, Dan, and I would include Paul and Robin if they can get past there thanatosic fatalism, and a few others on the NBL site give me hope that not everyone has written off Homo Sap’s chances to make a turnaround, however unlikely that may seem. It wouldn’t be the first time we have totally upset the odds to do the impossible!

  • @ Dean of Trolling

    You have nothing of interest or value to contribute, do you.

    As ogardener said ..some people have to be excluded from the community ie; agents provocateurs. Who needs em?

    @ Grant

    ..V for Vendetta. All our best heroes and hopes are works of fiction. That’s a problem.

    Sort of semi-fiction. Guy Fawkes masks on sale in almost every country around the world…somehow magically out of the 2D English comic book page into the 3D street riot in Turkey, Brazil…