Flight

by Mel Strawn

Strawn picture round 2

The geometry of nature in transit.

Whither now?

Years of concern and study, discussion, organizing and demonstrating lead me now, October, 2013, to a state of cognitive buzz. The buzz is about our unbelievably complex world-civilization and nature (all that is not of man’s making). There is the daily routine, varied everywhere, but here typically composed of often blue skies and tranquil, even moving and elegant moments, such as those of geese acting together on their way to somewhere. For me, for my fellow central Colorado citizens, friends and family, all seems normal and we all are comfortable in the assumption that tomorrow and next week will be about the same. Nothing to get all worked up about.

But in this place of comfort and tranquility there is this buzz: disruptive dispatchs arrive daily about broader realities that have already announced themselves, sometimes nearby – In Lyons, Colorado where my son has a home and design studio and which is still under virtual martial law until infrastructure of the entire town can be restored after September’s mega flood. Pick your place and time: Australia right now fighting, yet again, vast and devastating wildfires-and our Western Rockies are no stranger to those either-2012’s mega drought in America’s agricultural heartland…These and many, many other extreme weather events around the world are influenced, magnified by the effects of global warming and its influence on climate world-wide. The world’s scientific evidence points to a 95 to 99% certainty that our way of life has become, itself, a ‘force of nature’. And the prospects are not good; not only for our children and theirs, but also for many of us already here, now. A tsunami of studies and books and videos relaying the findings of the studies has arisen. To add noise to the buzzing scene there is also a similar number of arguments using the same media denying that anything of concern is happening. In this social-political climate it is easy (but also lazy) to ignore it all with its confusions, battle lines, fund requests, nasty ad hominem character assassinations, anxieties, fears (particularly of loss of social credibility and friends), ego-tripping, and shear demands on one’s time, serenity and sanity.

We all face choices every day. One is to ignore these issues. One is to deny them-on ideological or faith-based grounds-or simply because they seem so contrary to “common sense” and the tranquil reality that has ruled the cycle of days so far in our own lives. And one, finally, is to pay attention, consider the evidence (and challenges to it), and seek to respond, somehow, in self defense or in larger concern for life and in opposition to the bad stuff that is on its way. This includes the collapse of not just our own comfort zones but our industrial (250-year-old) civilization, and the extinction of plants and animals essential to our own survival. Yeah, that too.

Choices one or two, to ignore or deny, are not my immediate concern, not the source of the annoying buzz I’m afflicted with. How to address the third is. That is, how do I, first of all, and then with others, process the information available? I am not a scientist, politician or psychologist but a teacher and artist, “senior citizen”, parent, grandparent, westerner, ex soldier, hunter, fisherman, truck driver, farm worker… we all have similar backgrounds, really. I, and probably you, have to consider the evidence available from those qualified to publish it in order to shape my understanding and consequent actions.

My sources include, among many, these books: “Limits of Growth” (Club of Rome MIT study, 1972), James Hansen’s book “Storms of My Grandchildren”, Charles Ornstein’s “Ascent of Humanity”, Heidi Cullen’s “The Weather of the Future”, Mark Lynas’s “6 Degrees”, David Orr’s “Down to the Wire”, Allan Weisman’s “Countdown”, Lester Brown’s “Plan B 3.0”, Al Gore’s “The Future”, the IPCC’s 5th Report and Senator Rob Hogg’s “America’s Climate Century”.

Online sources include AMEG (Arctic Methane Emergency Group), Nature Bats Last (Prof. Guy McPherson), 350.org, Climate Central — again, among many.

Guy McPherson, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona, has written several books and presents his collated understandings of what it all portends at venues all over the country, most recently one in Boulder that I attended. He sums up virtually all the latest studies and projections-and that summation perfectly frames my cognitive buzz.

Briefly, (McPherson’s points) all the evidence points to a locked-in 3.5 – 5 degree C global temperature rise above the 1850 ‘norm’ by mid century, possibly much sooner. This guarantees a positive feedback, already underway, leading to 4.5 to 6 or more degrees above ‘norm’ that historically correlates with atmospheric CO2 ppm; and that is a level lethal to life. This is partly due to the fact that humans have to eat and plants can’t adapt fast enough to make that possible for the 7 to 9 billion of us — so we die. There are other possibilities in his view of things-including the catastrophic nuclear danger of dealing with the fuel rods in Fukushima-Daiichi Reactor 4 (to start next month). But that is for another and extended discussion …

ALL of the source studies above are in essential agreement. Some focus on the problems of leadership (Orr). Some deal with population and its various cultures as they effect the limits of the earth’s support system (Weisman). Some address the broad, interrelated factors that make up the underlying crisis issue of global warming-climate change (Lester Brown and Al Gore).

The quandary for me, perhaps for you: what, knowing the probable validity of these dire, near term events, is the right thing to do? Is it a moral responsibility to speak out, holding nothing back, including the prospect of near term extinction of our own species within this century? How do we engage others in discussing such difficult to believe information? It has, for me, been persuasively argued that only taking personal “carbon footprint” actions such as changing light bulbs, buying a more fuel efficient car, not eating meat, recycling is not going to make the critical difference required. More is required and that more calls for collective action: organizing and making public educational and political statements. Even these are problematical; they may or may not take us to a “negative” tipping point (the way back to sanity and survival). Yet, is it not an obligation to load the dice in this way, by opposing actively and in concert with others those practices that are driving us toward disaster at an increasing speed? And, as Guy points out, is taking action not the best antidote to both apathy and despair?

These are the outlines of my quandary, my cognitive buzz.

We can all choose the one positive action that Guy uses to close his recent presentations: do good work to create moments of value. This, I think, is what art is about-and it is based in celebration of the mystery and phenomenon of life-one project, one moment at a time. And sharing.

_____________

Thanks to ulvfugl for pointing out a technical fix to the problem of the disappearing comments: “I’m using Chrome browser. Go to top right corner, click three horizontal bars, says ‘new incognito window’, get NBL, and everything is immediately updated. Can’t advise for any other browsers, but I assume it’s something to do with cookies and being tracked, etc, because being anonymous fixes it.”

Comments 160

  • @Ulvfugl – You say, “Imo you betray all the other living things of the planet, because you refuse to accept your proper role.” And, “L. Keith addresses the problem of people like you in precise terms.”

    I do not accept your condemnation of me as an enemy of all life. Do you ever reread some of the comments you dash off? You should. What you wrote to me is slanderous, offensive, and ridiculous.

    Your position that love, truth, true spirituality, and beauty are negative forces in the world is preposterous. You are blaming our severe problems on those things!! Get a grip man, recall that those ideas are dear to fascists. The artists, dreamers, poets, lovers, philosophers are the first to be persecuted in a fascist world that only believes in “hard realities” and macho bravado.
    L Keith is on a mission, and shares the fundamentalist’s zeal in attacking anyone who has a different viewpoint. You think her wanna be crackpot revolutionists are the answer to our problems?
    Go sign up with them, if they will accept you. Ulvfugl, sometimes you make sense, and come across as a very nice thoughtful person, and sometimes you act like a nasty loony. Who are you really? I am not condemning you, but I find it really hard to figure out who among your many personas I may be hearing from in a given attempt at communication. Contemplating the possibility of NTE is a very stressful affair, so I cut folks a lot of slack as far as their reactions go…but that last bit from you struck me as pretty bizarre. What the hell do you think “my proper role is”? Maybe I shouldn’t even ask…

  • @ mike k

    Do you read what I write ?

    I didn’t say you are ‘an enemy of life’, I said you don’t accept your responsibility to the rest of life.

    I never said those qualities are ‘negative forces’.

    What I am saying to you, which I have been saying to you repeatedly since you first appeared which you have still not understood, is that you have no answer to NTE. Your position is utterly irrelevent.

    I don’t particularly want to hurt your feelings, but I’d regard your position as a joke, if it wasn’t so sad and tragic.

    The idea that the 7+ billion, soon to be 9, all around the world, are suddenly going to ‘raise their level of consciousness’ and somehow that’s going to effect the CO2 and methane and decommission the nuclear plants and solve the international geopolitics, etc, and all that in the next few years..

    This is your idea of ‘being realistic’?

    I can’t even think of anything to say except to roll my eyes and leave you to your private indulgence.

    Humans are the only species with agency and the power to act. The fact that they do not, is to abrogate their duty, their responsibility.

    Imo, that’s what you are doing. You want to play the role of the old testament prophet, telling the people to reform their wicked ways, or else the end is nigh.

    You want to be the one who shows them how to lead a pure and proper life. That’s all bullshit. There’s no time left for that sort of crap. You showed your own degree of self-awareness by quoting the Koch-Exxon propaganda.

    It’s not for me to tell you what your role is. I don’t care what you do, or what you believe. It won’t make any difference, anyway, will it. But when you come on this blog and lay forth proposals and criticise other proposals and put forth your own religious notions, I’ll tell you my views, ok ?

  • @Ulvfugl – You use your supposedly superior knowledge of NTE to beat anyone over the head, insult and bully them unless they bow to your viewpoint. This kind of behavior will never lead to our coming up with anything to solve or mitigate our predicament. You act like a fundamentalist of your own ego. What is a troll? Someone who insults and tries to bully others, dominate the discussion, pretend that others are trolls, or don’t belong in the discussion unless they bow to his narrow standards, etc. Maybe you and I are too far apart in our understanding of the world problem to ever agree. That’s OK. The negative cultic views you put forward will never convince me as having any real value. I think at this point you only seek to start a fight with me, which is all too familiar behavior in my experience on blogs. I am curtailing my attempts to dialog with you, as it has become clear that you are not open to the respectful type of exchange that might have some positive mutual benefit. I really think you are better than the behavior you exhibit at times on this blog, and regret our possible relationship has taken this unfortunate direction, but I feel it is best that I not try to communicate with you in the future. Whatever hope there may be for our troubled world, I doubt that being nasty to others will be a part of it. Sneering at hope, love, spirituality may be fun for you, but I find it disturbing and profoundly counter productive. Enough.

  • @ mike k

    I have NEVER sneered at hope, love, spirituality. You ay not have noticed the many comments and bog posts I have made pointing towards what could be termed spiritual matters and practices.

    What I’ve been trying to get through to you is that no amount of hope, love, or spirituality, is going to change the laws of physics. Or of biology. Or chemistry. There’s a time lag. Nothing we can do about that, however loving you are. It’s too late.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

    You live in a fantasy, that dreaming about ‘changing people’s consciousness’ is going to do something about problems which have no causal linkage to people’s consciousness, even if there was any likelihood that people’s consciousness was going to be changed to any sufficient degree.

    This kind of behavior will never lead to our coming up with anything to solve or mitigate our predicament.

    The only thing that will ‘solve’ our predicament is the immediate ending of industrial civilisation.

    That’s not going to happen. Certainly not by any voluntary action.

    That’s why we get Near Term Extinction.

    Simple.

    That’s what this blog is about.

    Apparently, you still have not grasped that.

    Painful, isn’t it.

  • @ mike k.

    A slight difference with you…and I don’t have many. I never say that an evolved paradigm might not succeed. First, I do not see its success as any of my business. Second, saying it might not succeed injects an element of false objectivity. I know of no objective reality that is independent of how it is perceived. Inserting doubt and uncertainty seems merely negative to any possible outcome. My responsibility is to believe in the power of small things that I and others can do. (I believe in that just as much as I believe I’m a specific height and weight.) In that context, doubt and uncertainty strike me as a waste of energy. BTW, all the social and environmental horrors of today are the natural and legitimate outcomes of what Charles Eisenstein terms Separation. (James provided a link, which I will resend if needed.) And I agree with you that an evolved paradigm (whose future fruition is not my business to second guess) would have different outcomes.

    Cheers

  • @Artleads – I have read Charles’ book on separation. Beautiful. When I counsel folks re; their addiction problems, I do not tell them that success is guaranteed. This injects a note of realistic concern and motivation to keep doing the work to maintain consciousness. Kinda like walking a tightrope. For me, wishing for, working for a better world is my main reason for being. Thanks for your input. I admire your stance. Don’t drink hopium; its a bogus brand. Insist on the real thing! (Warning all real hope has an uncertainty principle intrinsic to it.)

    Song of Life

    As our daytime light
    Grew dimmer still
    It began to slowly
    Sap our will.

    When dark figures
    First appeared
    We stood and waited
    As they neared.

    They brought a message
    Neat and tight:
    They announced the dying
    Of the Light.

    Furthermore they said:
    Just give up hope
    And seal your doom,
    You’ll surely feel
    Much better soon.

    Through fading vision
    We prayed and
    Then we swayed
    And one by one
    Began to do
    As they had said.

    No sooner had one of us
    Signed the pledge
    Than a sullen rain
    With sulfurous tinge
    Began to fall.

    And the newly baptized
    Ones went forth
    As they were told
    To bring others
    Into the fold.

    And soon the world
    Was filled by those
    Who had swallowed
    This blackest pill of all
    And turned their backs
    On Heaven’s Will.

    Then almost all
    As darkness falls
    Chant deeply as ones
    In Their thrall:

    JUST GIVE UP HOPE
    AND SEAL YOUR DOOM,
    YOU’LL SURELY FEEL
    MUCH BETTER SOON

  • @ mike k said to @Ulvfugl on November 15th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    QUOTE: – You use your supposedly superior knowledge of NTE to beat anyone over the head, insult and bully them unless they bow to your viewpoint. This kind of behavior will never lead to our coming up with anything to solve or mitigate our predicament.

    I think that what Ulvfugl has been trying to tell you that there’s no longer enough time for a general enlightenment to occur in the world. And, that there’s absolutely nothing that you or anyone else can currently do that might actually prevent what must quite soon be happening everywhere. Namely, that the world’s climate is going to collapse. And, all signs indicate that it’s going to be collapsing completely in a rather short while. And, then we are all going to die. I would think that it might now be the time to open your still living eyes and grow-up rather than waste your remaining days hoping that a bunch of Star-Trek like action-figures – or perhaps Jesus Christ, himself – might yet appear from the surrounding heavens and be subsequently moved so as to save us. And, as far as imagining there might still be some other means that might possibly mitigate or even end our current predicament? Well, rest quite assured that quite all of our human predicaments as we might presently think we have are quite sure to be completely ended soon. I’m telling you mister that you might only have but a few more dozens of months or so left to live. Please note that amidst my own part of the world the background radiation which I’ve been living in for months keeps getting worse and worse. Yet, what should subsequently be caused to happen to me cannot be thought to really matter at all.. But, what about you? Do you want to open your eyes and maybe finally become a full grown man amidst this world while there is still time? Or, do you want to finally go out of this place in much the same way are you had originally arrived in terms of balling like a baby? Ulvfugl is not your mother! And, I don’t know why you should keep wanting to complain to him about all of the seeming unfairness of our present day world. He can’t fix it for you! Rather. I would suggest that if you should really want to find some greater degree of inner peace – in these by all means certainly trying remaining times – then you should probably start looking for it amidst no other
    place but within yourself.

    Please by all means excuse me for having butted in

  • @ Belle Islander

    That’s not quite my position.

    There’s a couple of points to make. One is that this is the only place where we can discuss NTE and related stuff, so most of us are somewhat hostile to intrusions from individuals with agendas which are already catered for at many other venues, such as mainstream greenwash stuff.

    Second, this blog is apocalyptic, because NTE is DOOM, but it’s not ‘end of the world’ in the typical religious eschatological sense, because this is a science-based site, and the arguments are science-based, not mythological.

    mike k came here plugging a trope – that if we wish to ‘save ourselves’ we need to reform ourselves, raise consciousness, become enlightened, etc – which is archetypal, although he doesn’t seen aware of that, and has been used by shamans, prophets, Popes, archbishops, gurus, etc, since forever, to manipulate ‘the tribe’ to do whatever they wanted them to do.

    ‘You have displeased the gods, that’s why the world is dying, you must mend your ways, stop your fornicating and stealing, etc’.

    We’ve had all this for two or three thousand years. India has been stuffed with holymen all that time. Look at it today, rushing to burn more coal and build more nuclear power stations. Telling people that they have to become more spiritual isn’t going to work, it doesn’t address the reasons why we get NTE.

    Individual spiritual quest is irrelevant to climate change and Industrial Civilisation, which is a mass social, global problem involving the entire species, 7 billion plus, of all religions, and ethnicities and nations.

    So far, nobody has come up with any strategy that has been in any way effective.

    Since Kyoto – indeed, long before – we have not seen a single successful environmental campaign. Maybe re the Ozone Hole, and CFCs, but that’s arguable. It’s been a story of constant and unremitting deterioration.

    One of the reasons has been the stubborn unwillingness of anyone in the environmental movement to learn anything, and we have a classic example, with mike k, who is still repeating mantras from 50 years ago which are totally irrelevant to anything. This is one of the reasons WHY we get NTE !

    He neither sees this nor hears any criticism of his position.

    Because I tell him that his mysticism is irrelevant to addressing climate change, he thinks I’m being nasty and am against spirituality. Which, of course, I am not.

    I just had a rant as to how I see the problem, so to save repeating myself, here’s the link

    Two Essays by Carolyn Baker

  • @Belle Islander – Thanks for your kind thoughts. Your timeline to extinction is shorter than most. A few dozen months doesn’t give us a chance to do much to mitigate the civilizational collapse that is surely coming in my opinion. As to the possibility of Star Trek action figures fishing us out of the soup, I doubt that, but you get points for sarcastic irony. I used to beat up on anything beyond materialistic scientism in pretty much the same fashion, but I was unfortunately much more acid in my critiques than you.

    I know that the thoughts of John Michael Greer (the Archdruid Report) are considered to be an obnoxious form of Kryptonite by some on this blog, but you might want to take a walk on the wild side by visiting his site to get a different perspective on apocalypse and the timelines of civilization’s demise.

    I am impressed with the breathtaking hubris manifested by Ulvfugl in brushing aside the whole long history of humankind’s efforts to find a kinder gentler way of being together on this totally improbable planet. These teachers of us all have been very key to my own gradual awakening to the deeper realities of our situation. I am really not in a place in my own growth to consign them or their beautiful ideas to the dustbin of history and replace them with the wisdom of Ulvfugl. But I guess we all are free to choose our own teachers and models…sigh…

    Thanks again for your attempts to wake me up, you sound to be a good sort, like many who buy into various versions of apocalyptic scenarios.

  • @ mike k

    It is such a shame that you pay such little attention to what I actually say.

    If you actually read and absorbed what the words convey then you would not need to go through all the indignation and ridiculous outrage which you express.

    I mean, what is this absurd rubbish and where do you conjure it from ?

    …brushing aside the whole long history of humankind’s efforts to find a kinder gentler way of being together on this totally improbable planet.

    I mean, you are talking to someone completely different. I have NEVER said anything to suggest any such thing.

    What I have said is that YOUR wishing for such things will not avoid NTE. Which is plainly and obviously true to anyone who is moderately intelligent and capable of logic.

    Because the CAUSE of NTE is not that we are too unkind or that we are not gentle, is it. It’s because we produce too much fucking CO2 and there are too many of us.

    So, EVEN if we all suddenly become St Francis of fucking Assissi by tomorrow morning, that still does not solve the problem.

    The coal fired power station and the nuclear power stations and the rest of the stuff that’s destroying the biosphere will continue, regardless of how saintly we are, because even saints have to eat and shit and keep warm in the winter.

    And, as even you must have noticed, the impact of the world’s great teachers over the last millennia has not been noticeably positive. Followers of Christ have been responsible for more war, death and torture and suffering and misery that any other group on Earth, so good luck with your proselytising.

    The Archdruid is not popular here because we do not accept his analysis, because he, like yourself, does not understand the scientific case, and prefers to live in denialist fantasies.

  • Ulv – Your language, anger, dogmatism, illogic, and the presumption that you speak for the majority on this site betray you. As soon as you are confronted with something you have written that trashes the prophets and mystics, you deny that you wrote it. BTW I have visited Assisi, and I would not characterize it as “fucking Assisi.” Its really a very beautiful ancient town, the birthplace of Francis, who in spite of your disappointment with the global results of his mission was a sincere and wonderful man who did his best to guide people to a better way of being. Your high self-estimation in comparison to his real achievements is rather misplaced in my opinion. I am not that impressed with you as a judge of those spiritual souls you count for so little. If you judge anyone by the standard of “Did you save the world from what we are suffering?” then one and all will be found wanting, eh? Does that mean that we are all without value and meaning in our efforts to evolve? Are you just pissed that someone has not fixed all the worlds problem’s for you now, so you can sit back and enjoy their success in providing you all you demand? Who is the immature baby now who refuses to grow up and take a hand in trying to solve our perennial and ongoing problems like a responsible adult?

    You seek refuge in your very limited and flawed interpretations of what science has to say about our global future. Your voluminous sharings of undigested and misinterpreted information betrays your shallow understanding of what real science is, what it can and cannot predict with confidence. The overwhelming majority of scientists are not on board with your conclusions about NTE. Of course like the mystics and spiritual giants of humankind, from your point of view all those scientists who disagree with you are just inept, misinformed and not as wise and knowledgeable as yourself. Please…

  • @ mike k.

    Thanks for your poem and all else you write. I think we’re here because this is the only site that uses conventional knowledge to correctly determine that we have come to the end of the road. We couldn’t (as a species) possibly try to turn back or take a detour if we were not informed as on NBL that this road id fatal (with widely ongoing fatal effects that have somehow spared most humans up till now). I suppose the conviction that there is no possibility of retreat or detour derives from the conventional script. I really don’t know. But I think the cliché is worth repeating that everyone has a right to their opinions.

    I see HS as the mistaken species. We are born as a mistake, and making mistakes is our main occupation. Some individual modesty as to our rightness is due.

    In all my 76 years, it has been intuition that guided me. I seemed (and have been assured) to have consistently been ahead of my time. Conventional knowledge has never been my point of departure, although I acknowledge and respect it. But my way of knowing, which is intuitive, informs me that hanging tough and keeping on while changing course are infinitely worth doing NOW. My opinion, fwiw.

  • @ mike k

    Your language, anger, dogmatism, illogic, and the presumption that you speak for the majority on this site betray you.

    Hahaha, I’m not the slightest bit angry, nor dogmatic, and I only speak for myself, but I’ve been following Guy’s writing almost since he began and posting on this site for a long time, so I know what’s what here.

    Tell me where I’m illogical and I’ll put you right.

    Look, I KNOW all about St Francis. Why are you telling me ?

    You are blind. If any of the great saints had been successful WE WOULD NOT BE IN THIS MESS.

    The proof is in front of you. The evidence is in front of you. We don’t have another 2000 years for a re-run. We are out of time.

    You are in deep denial. You think that there is some sort of connection between people’s spiritual condition and the global catastrophe, NTE, climate chaos, etc.

    That’s simply not true.

    The fundamental cause is industrial civilisation. Stuff like the extraction of oil and the burning of coal, to power industry, factories, cars, ships, planes, to make stuff, to provide jobs and wealth for economies and consumers.

    Tell these billions of people and the politicians who run the governments and the CEOs who control the corporations, that what they all need to do is to become more spiritual ?

    Sure. First they’ll laugh at you. Then they’ll say yes, but what are we going to eat, how will we earn our money, how will we pay for all the stuff we import ?

    You are living in cloud cuckoo land. When I point out to you that your spiritual stuff is irrelevant to the acidifying oceans and the melting permafrost, you get all huffy and draw the ridiculous conclusion that I am against spirituality, or I’m sneering at love, or whatever.

    Erm, I’ve already paid some attention to your declarations that you used to be into science but now you’re not. Turned out you are clueless about science.

    First point, there’s plenty in Guy’s Climate Summary, and plenty more from the highest levels of science telling everyone in the world that we are in the most serious crisis imaginable. If you have not grasped that, that’s your problem not mine.

    We don’t need to rely upon prediction, we can look back at what we know has happened in the past, the geological record is solid evidence. Extinction events.

    Your thesis, that people becoming more spiritual will ‘solve the problem’ is fundamentally misconceived, because the problem was never caused in the first instance by people’s lack of spirituality, it was caused by burning coal and by burning oil.

    And, even if you thesis were anywhere near correct, the idea that somehow, by magic, all these 7 plus billion are all going to agree with you, is utterly delusional. Just look at the bitter cyber wars between atheists and Christian literalists, and all the thousands of other beliefs that are out there.

    You and your ideas are totally and completely irrelevant. The battles that are going on are geopolitical, between power blocs, for control and influence, to grab whatever resources remain and to stop someone else getting them.

    They are between the big ideological factions, and the entrenched elites, the bankers, the corporations, the USA – UK – Israel – Canada – Australia, bloc, the Central European bloc, the Russians, the Chinese, the S. Americans, the Saudis, the Indians, the Moslems, all that stuff.

    Nobody gives a shit about ‘spirituality’. Look, Krishnamurti was as wise and gentle a teacher as anyone could wish for and devoted his entire life to raising people’s consciousness and had hundreds of thousands of devotees and communities of the sort you propose all around the world. That hasn’t stopped any of the wars, or the industrialisation of China, or the islands of plastic in the oceans, or Chernobyl or Fukushima or the climate chaos, has it.

    Even if you had a hundred Krishnamurtis, a hundred Ghandis, a hundred Jesus’s, we do not have any time left. The warming is already in the pipeline. The sea level rise is already in the pipeline. The ocean acidification is already in the pipeline.

    What we’d need to do to ‘save’ the world, cannot be done. Your’e just another dreamer living in a fantasy, living in denial because the reality of the situation is too painful to face.

  • @Artleads – Thanks for your support. If I only had Ulv to converse with I would have left long since. You and a few others who are more open and less dogmatic about NTE keep me coming back. I really don’t think people dug into dogmatic belief systems are going to be very helpful in bringing us thru our crisis situation. It may seem strange to find fundamentalism rearing its head on this site which is in many ways far ahead of most folk’s thinking, but given the fearsome realities we are discussing you can’t blame folks for seeking some kind of refuge, even in a sort of terminal despair. But fundamentalism of various stripes has played a big part in getting us here, and leaving us stuck here, so I am calling it out as I have done in so many groups over the years – I am 82, and have been on this enquiry into the nature of truth for a long time, since my childhood actually.

    Total lack of self criticism or self doubt also is typical. Some are so sure they are absolutely right, that everyone else – except their clones – is automatically wrong and must have some evil agenda towards the righteous followers. It is out of this that the cultic mentality is built. It is a shame that many unreflectively buy into this dynamic which has been so destructive to building a society based on openness and mutual understanding.

    In my long quest for truth, goodness and beauty I have been in many groups, and sadly have observed the cultic tendencies in so many, who are of course totally oblivious of that in themselves. I try to use these situations to be more aware of such tendencies in myself. We all are or should be in therapy on this planet, because we need healing in every dimension of our beings…

  • To: ulvfugl and mike k

    ROCK meets HARD PLACE – and – HARD PLACE meets ROCK

    Sounds like you two might still be going at it until the ending of time!

    And, why I think that we might have only but a few months left is because of the world’s ever growing radiation problems, the presently dying oceans, the presently dying trees, the dying off of entire species, the growing ineffectiveness of former medicines, the growing unpredictability of the weather in respect to food growing purposes, the toxic chemicals that are being constantly seeded into the atmosphere. And, then there’s the near certainty of a global economic collapse, plus the problems associated with peak-oil, as well as the ever growing menace of an out of control police-state. And, then there’s the problem of the whole globe having already been thickly seeded with tens-of-thousands of nuclear weapons as might at anytime explode so as to instantly melt all of the world’s formerly known hard places and to send all its formerly settled rocks flying off into space amidst an all encompassing searing flash.

    There are just too many ever growing problems amidst our present day world for me to take anything other than a rather dim of our collective future as a species. But, you know what? I’m no longer feel particularly angered by the situation. I no longer feel particularly saddened by what would appear to be our in any case inevitable fate. Rather, I seem to have come to the point where I might simply accept the situation for what it is. Mankind is doomed? So fucking what I say! Are we to really to suppose that there might never again be anything else? And, just what might that be? Does anyone know? While there is still time can’t we go on an try to comprehend other things that may be of far more ultimate cosmological importance than our former selves? Can’t we still try to get a glimpse of the bigger picture whilst we still have eyes so as to see and accept it for what it is?

    Both of you guys presently seem to be presently stuck in a rut. Can’t we begin talking about how mankind apparently got himself in this mess in the first place? And, with the benefit of our present hindsight if we had the opportunity to ever re-run the great experiment of civilization all over again, then just what might we change?

  • @Belle Island – Thanks for trying to be a peace maker. We need that. Irresistible force meets immovable object, eh? I guess Ulv and I have a bit of stubbornness in us. We both agree that a horrendous collapse of civilization is due real soon, that it is already happening and gaining speed fast. We disagree about whether that collapse will mean extinction for all humans in the near term (whatever that means – it’s different for different posters). For me, we don’t know enough know to say that for sure. For Ulv it’s a done deal sure to happen soon. Neither of us can prove our position beyond a doubt. The majority of today’s climate scientists would disagree with Ulv. I feel that even they are not in a position to prove or disprove his contention. That’s how I see where we stand, he may see it differently. I am comfortable with my uncertainty, he is comfortable with his certainty. If you could call contemplating the death off all humans comfortable! Of course it’s not.

    When people disagree they sometimes get a bit heated and say things that perhaps they shouldn’t. I am ready to make up, maybe not kiss, but at least call a truce. I see many good qualities in Ulv, and actually agree with most of what he shares. (Maybe I’m not so much on board with his output when he is pissed at someone…) One other item we disagree on: spirituality – a very broad category that contains all sorts of stuff, purest gold and all sorts of pure rubbish. I am big on the gold part as the prime reason for our being here. I also believe if we don’t get this right we are more deeply doomed than we might realize. If we don’t get it right, in my opinion our planetary demise would be good riddance of a failed experiment.
    Thanks again for your efforts, Belle, fighting will not get us where we need to go.

    I almost forgot your question about what would I change about our history. Everything and nothing. I feel that what has happened was in its broad outlines inevitable. I think all evolving intelligence in the Universe will make the same mistakes we have, and have to solve the difficult initiations that arise as a result. I just hope we make it past this one and go on to a better way of sharing our lives together.

  • @ mike k

    Much of that comment is vacuous slander. Fundamentalism ?
    Not worth a reply.

    Anyway

    I really don’t think people dug into dogmatic belief systems are going to be very helpful in bringing us thru our crisis situation.

    Well, that’s true, and seeing as 99.9 % are stuck into belief systems of one kind and another, that’s one reason why this isn’t a crisis situation, it’s an insoluble predicament, and it’s terminal. NTE.

    So, dear man, you’re 82, and you’re still looking for the truth you didn’t find yet. And you are nearly out of time. Well, hurry up, I hope you find it very quickly, or you will not have any time left to enjoy your discovery, will you.

    I wonder what you think it will be like if and when it finally appears to you ?

    @ Belle Islander

    Are we to really to suppose that there might never again be anything else? And, just what might that be? Does anyone know?

    We, the human species, will never know, because we will have gone.
    Depending how long we remain here, wrecking this planet and killing off everything else, that will decide how much life is still left when we finally go, and how devastated this world is.

    There may only be bacteria remaining, in which case it will take a very long time for complex life to evolve again. Or, if we go soon, there may be higher life forms left. Apparently, after previous mass extinction events, it takes 10 or 15 million years for the planet to recover and have flourishing ecosystems again.

    Can’t we begin talking about how mankind apparently got himself in this mess in the first place?

    This has all been discussed at some length before.

    Some are of the view that we are just doing what life has always done, exploiting energy resources to the maximum potential.

    Some are of the view that the causes are intrinsic to our human nature, so it was all inevitable, from the moment we began using stone tools and fire, 2 or 3 million years ago.

    Some think that is nonsense, and that the real problems began with the first city and agriculture, c. 8000 years ago. Some blame culture, some religion, some blame the industrial revolution and capitalism. And so on.

    And, with the benefit of our present hindsight if we had the opportunity to ever re-run the great experiment of civilization all over again, then just what might we change?

    There is no chance of doing that, because we have used up all the resources. Last time, there was copper to be find on the ground surface. That’s all gone. People have to go miles into the ground to find it. The oil, coal, gold, silver, lead, phosphates, everything that was easily available to our ancestors has all gone.

    What we’d have to have would be a culture that ensured behaviour that was sustainable for the long term, so we’d look to the examples, the Australian Aborigines, who lasted c. 50,000, the Kalahari San, who lasted 200,000, those kind of folk, and the few other groups who have survived for centuries without wrecking their environment, Bishnoi, Kogi, etc.

    Bill Mollison tried to distill out that sort of wisdom into Permaculture.

    The trouble is, once the global climate is destabilised and the oceans are killed and toxic and radioactive pollution drifts around the planet, then permaculture becomes a bit hopeless.

    We can’t go back to hunting and gathering, because most places there’s nothing left to hunt and gather. So it’s more like scavenging through the remnants and detritus.

    There’s mixed opinions as to how many people would be left and how many would be supported by that life style and how many would really want to survive the trauma to continue to survive that way.

    Btw, I don’t share your very short term view. I’m certain there will be more and more frequent terrible catastrophes, as we just had in the Philippines.

    Thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, just wiped off the map. But people will just stop caring, they’ll become numb and adjust to that, as they did in WW2. There’s more being born all the time.

    The devastated patches will eventually begin to join up. There’s already whole countries that have been written off, like Somalia. So long as the major nodes of wealth and power remain – New York, Tokyo, London, Beijing, Moscow, Paris, etc – and the money and communications and shipping of the industrial nations keeps functioning, and the oil and gas keeps moving, then it’ll all keep on until it can’t… that may be another twenty years. Who knows ?

  • @U – Your remarks about finding truth reveal the shallowness of your mind. All intellect and ego and no understanding. I am sorry for the state you are in. There is almost no way out for you. You are beyond help. I in no way hate you or condemn you. I am only sorry that you are in an unreachable space. I hope you find a way out. Good luck.

  • @ mike k

    Hahahaha, I found what I was looking for, long ago.

    I’m not looking for any ‘way out’. What is there to understand ? Here it is, in front of my nose, all the time, the ultimate miracle, inescapable, unavoidable.

    I seek no help, desire no help, need no help, care not the slightest whether you hate me or condemn me or love me, what difference would it make ? None.

    The fact that you feel some desire to enlighten or to help me shows what an absurd pretentious individual you are.

    Get on with seeking the truth which you said you have sought all your life. Time is short.

    You see, I have not forgotten that you spouted out all that Koch-Exxon propaganda re the climate. You are in no position to speak about ‘shallowness of mind’ are you.

    I am not the least bit concerned about me, or about you. I have been trying to discuss the fate of this planet and of the biosphere, and trying to explain why your position, and those who share your position, in that regard, is one of the reasons why we get NTE.

    You, as a human being, are the eyes and ears and mind of the Universe, and should be taking full responsibility for cherishing this planet and it’s life. Instead of doing so, you are wrapped up in this stupid nonsensical self-indulgent claptrap, that you think is somehow superior, because it is your notion of ‘spiritual’.

    As fas as I am concerned, it’s merely a way to evade the issue and a way to deny what is obvious. You are not unintelligent. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand what IRREVERSIBLE means, do you.

  • The saying, “do not give what is holy to dogs, or cast your pearls before swine” always seemed too harsh to me. I am gaining a new understanding of its message now. Some have wandered too far from love, higher truths, and even common courtesy and fellowship with others. They delight in ridiculing the most precious values in life. They only seek to ridicule and abuse those who are basing their lives on higher values. Their scornful laughter has a demonic quality that is meant to wound and hurt. Their role in this creation has been permitted from olden times. It is best to avoid them and wisdom counsels not to try to extend friendship and help to them, as they will only use it spitefully against you. Spiritual truth disturbs and enrages them. One can pray for them, and this is the best way to be protected from their dark influence. Nothing would please such an entity more than if you should hate them. That would be their sick victory. I thank God for this lesson, which I obviously needed to learn. Thus do those who revile and hate us become our teachers in spite of themselves. I pray for those who are given over to the darkness, but I also pray for the rest of us to be protected from their evil influence. If some on this blog think I am going off the deep end in what I have said, perhaps they have not yet encountered some of the deeper currents that play a significant role in the cosmic drama we are living. Enough said.
    Wolfbird indeed. And did you flap down from a ledge among the other gargoyles on a Gothic Cathedral?

  • @ mike k

    Hahahaha, because you lose the argument, it’s time to call in a fucking exorcist.

    Pathetic.

    You’ll have to get in the queue, mate. There’s already a whole bunch of people who want to burn me at the stake.

    Trouble is, none of it changes the fact that we still get NTE, and your patronising ‘holier than thou’ bullshit does not refute the arguments or make your position relevant.

  • What was that you were telling me, that the majority of climate scientists don’t agree with me, blahblah ?

    Look, we’ve been lied to continuously, for 20 years. We are still being lied to.

    You have NO answers. You don’t want to face up to NTE, so you clutch at this straw, that somehow, via magical thinking, we will suddenly become evolved spiritual beings, and because I tell you it’s not going to happen, you are, quite naturally, upset.

    It doesn’t make any difference. We still get NTE. Whatever you or I think, makes no difference. it’s the laws of physics and biology.

    Finally, they are admitting that we will get 4 deg C and there is nothing that can be done.

    Do you understand what that means ?

    It means we INEVITABLY get 5, and then 6 and that is the death sentence for us all and most living things.

    So FUCK all your waffle about spirituality, because all it is good for is helping to come to terms with this gruesome horrible FACT.

    If it does that, great. I’m all in favour. But as for avoiding what is coming it’s useless.

    Paul Brown, a Climate News Network editor, is in the Polish capital, host of the UN climate talks – the 19th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Continuing his coverage of COP 19, he reports on the warning of heat to come given by a scientist to a fringe meeting.

    UN bodies and health authorities are being advised to prepare for a world temperature rise of 4°C because scientists no longer believe that politicians are capable of holding the temperature rise below the internationally agreed limit, 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

    Mark Maslin, professor of climatology at University College in London, was speaking at a conference here which also heard that some parts of the world were already in danger of becoming too hot for humans to inhabit.

    Science and health professionals were invited by the Global Climate and Health Alliance to assess this bleak future for the human race at the end of the first week of climate talks, where little progress has been made to slow global warming.

    Wrong kind of politicians

    Professor Maslin said: “We are already planning for a 4°C world because that is where we are heading. I do not know of any scientists who do not believe that. We are just not tackling the enormity of the task we face to keep it below the agreed 2°C danger threshold.

    “If we had the kind of politicians we really need we could still put in place policies that can save the planet from going over the danger level. But there is no evidence at the moment that we have that quality of politicians, so we all have to be prepared for the most likely scenario, which is a 4°C rise in temperature. If we do not prepare to adapt we simply won’t be able to.”

    http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/11/warsaw-day-6-prepare-now-for-4c-rise/

  • @mike k

    I had an email message from Guy McPherson warning to not insult other posters or break the 2 post a day rule, but that only seems that only apply if you are not on board with his message like the other sychophants on here.

    We can conclude Guy IS a phony. I think Guy McPherson is a jerk with superficial and somewhat sleazy charm.

    He ramps up fear and then tries to flog his books – warning against climate change whilst jetting round the globe like cheap rock band.

  • Before anyone says, why don’t you leave, well Guy McPhony will probably ban me now anyway as he did before under my other alias, when I tried to tackle the evil on the forum.

  • I’ll keep posting useful links until banned. Here is one:

    http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/category/geoengineering-watch-radio/

    Listen top the MP3s

  • @ mike k, Solaris troll

    Here’s a link you will both find helpful in your efforts to find relief from that which torments you.

    http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/diversions/exorcize/exorcist.html

  • Amazing how people who claim to be so involved in nature are actually, in reality, sitting in front of a PC all day.

  • Ironically as well, it is the “thing” that is the troll, as it trolls everybody who tries to make a useful post.

  • How gullible people are – mostly women in this case – be duped into believing the world is ending:

  • @ Solaris

    Are you addressing me ? Your imaginary speculation deceives you.
    I sit here with my laptop, in this space which I claim for myself.
    Exactly six paces away is the threshold, through which I feel the wind blowing and hear a robin, a cockerel, a raven, and where nature has priority.

    I live as close to nature as I can be whilst still having a life that I can tolerate and find enjoyable. I am not a masochist, I don’t enjoy suffering if I can avoid it. But being close to nature gives my existence the riches quality I could wish for. Half an hour at this laptop, next, half an hour in the garden with the dog.

  • @Troll

    You are wasting your time I don’t read the contents of your posts, from now on I am only here to protect the innocent from your evil

  • @Troll

    By the way, you might fool everyone else, but I can smell a fake like you a mile off.

    You just make Guy look like an idiot and I have sniffed it all out in a matter of weeks, despite his “PhD” and sleazy charm

  • @Ulvfugl – I am realizing that our sharing has probably run its course. You believe with fundamentalist certainty that science dictates our near term extinction, and that spirituality (as you understand it) is irrelevant and even counterproductive of any possible solution to our crisis. Of course a major tenet of your faith is that there is NO solution. In addition, you are really angry with anyone who questions your assumptions, and ready to revile them and dump a load of your bile, scorn, and assumed superior understanding on them. Typical fundamentalist behavior. Of course in this case YOU ARE RIGHT – SCIENCE PROVES IT SO. Except sadly, the majority of actual climate scientists disagree with you. Ah well, these unbelievers must be in the pay of the Koch Bros. or some other apostate group of global warming deniers…

    Ulvfugl, now that it is clear to me that you are a fundamentalist in your beliefs, I will not try to convince you to become more open. My experience tells me that that would be a waste of time. Go down your narrow road with what peace your outbursts of anger will allow you, and I will go down mine, perhaps with less zealous certainty than you, and many more questions and uncertainties, but that is my chosen path, a road less traveled by but full of possibilities, hopes, and dreams….

  • @Troll

    Oh, forgot to add… mike k and a few others have actually sniffed you out as well of course troll… not just me… it’s just they haven’t realised how this must necessarily reflect on Guy as his evil must recognise and relate to the evil in you, troll

    Guy must be disconnected in the same way you are, therefore not a truther, but really just another con man… in fact this blog’s message of “kill yourself we are screwed” really is genuinely evil

    so i will compose posts to warn others off from now on in, against the evil guy and the evil commentators.

  • @ Solaris

    You’ve already shown you are no fit person for such a task.

    You have no honour, you are not honest, you are a coward, you hide behind fake names, you are discourteous and insult the person whose guest you are, you think you are very clever whilst showing your ignorance by not bothering to find out what this blog is about and who the people are, and so on and on and on.

    Worst of all, from my personal perspective, you post really boring links and say really boring things, so you are not even an interesting troll.

    As to your reading the contents of my comments, is that a threat or a promise ?

    You see, I know you have no idea why you are even HERE, poor lost child, and you think I’m supposed to be troubled as to what you read or do not read ?

    Have a good day rattling around in whatever passes for reality in that skull of yours.

  • @ mike k

    Well, it hasn’t run it’s course so long as you persist in misunderstanding and misinterpreting what I am saying, and putting words in my mouth that I have never uttered.

    Science does not ‘dictate’ anything, does it. Science measures, gathers data, proposes hypotheses, puts forward theories, and seeks deeper understanding and insight into the nature of what we are and what exists.

    There is a theory as to how the Earth’s climate and the whole global system, the oceans, continents, geology, atmosphere, etc, works, and how life has evolved.

    If you do not accept that theory, you really don’t have any business being on this blog at all. It’s not possible to discuss climate science with people who don’t understand or accept even such basic fundamentals.

    If you do accept that theory, then it’s really quite easy to understand, following what we are doing to the planet, why we COULD get NTE.

    Anybody with some scientific understanding will get that. Then there can be argument as to detail. Such as timing, such as the possibility of geoengineering, the influence of aerosols, the possibility of a methane bomb, the possibility of mitigation by such things as biochar, all kinds of opinions and views, and there’s a vigorous debate, as of now.

    Nobody is saying that spirituality is a factor, because spirituality is NOT a factor. Cars are, planes are, agriculture is, fracking is, getting an international agreement is, getting better scientific data is, etc, etc.

    Mike, I never get angry, what would be the point ? If I let all the idiots out there upset me, I’d be upset all the time for the rest of my life. I like to be serene and blissful, so that’s how I am, most of the time.

    You are clueless when you say Except sadly, the majority of actual climate scientists disagree with you.

    Just look at the one example above – I can give you many, many more –
    Professor Maslin said: “We are already planning for a 4°C world because that is where we are heading. I do not know of any scientists who do not believe that.

    What do you think happens at 4 deg C, mike ?

    How soon do you think we reach 4 deg C ?

    …that spirituality (as you understand it) is irrelevant and even counterproductive of any possible solution to our crisis.

    YOUR notion of spirituality IS counter productive, imo, because it’s this passive, fluffy, delusion, that denies reality.

    Of course a major tenet of your faith is that there is NO solution.

    But it is not FAITH, is it. It’s empirical science. When the ocean becomes acidified, the coral reefs die. That’s not faith. How do you de-acidify the oceans ? That’s irreversible. There is NO solution.

    That is what Guy’s list is about. The list of changes we have made to our planet which are self-reinforcing and on-going which we cannot stop. That has NOTHING to do with faith. We can observe them, measure them, and we know what the result will be.

    Yes, I’m sure you will carry on down your road of dreams, but that has been my point all along, right from the start.

    That is why I accuse you of abrogating your responsibility to all other living things.

    Rather than face the harsh brutal reality of the situation, you prefer to deny it and comfort yourself by living in your fantasy dreamland. I find that quite appalling, though entirely understandable.

    I can’t do that. I have to face the horror and say what I see without flinching.

    @ Solaris troll

    so i will compose posts to warn others off from now on in, against the evil guy and the evil commentators.

    Hahaha, you go away and do that. I’m sure they’ll enjoy your company and we’ll all miss having you around.

  • Maybe it should be unnecessary, but since Ulvfugl has attempted to brand me as an agent of the rightly despised Koch Bros. (yes, he has stooped that low) let me clearly state that I have no affinity with or connection to the idiotic ravings of the one calling himself Solaris. I admire Guy’s patience and free speech attitude for letting the fools prate. This Solaris character is way off the chart in meaningless spite. The guy is obviously having mental problems. It reminds me of once in NYC when I was attending a public lecture by a Swami, this guy seated not too far from me starts declaiming loudly that he has been sent by the Sun God to tell us this and that… While I was reflecting that there are some weird types in NYC, some folks ushered the poor soul out.

  • @ mike k

    You are an elderly man, so perhaps that gives you some excuse and some leeway, and I am being more charitable towards you than I would be towards other who have opposed me.

    Let’s straighten this out. I have NEVER accused you of being an ‘agent’ of the Kochs. I know perfectly well that you are not. I know perfectly well that you argue in good faith.

    What you said, way back, and I cannot be bothered to trawl through umpteen threads to find it, was an argument re ‘the climate science not being settled’ which WAS an argument which was INVENTED by the public relations men hired by the Kochs and Exxon to come up with propaganda to sabotage attempts by the green lobby to get laws passed to limit emissions.

    I never stated that YOU were working for THEM. What I stated is that YOU are so clueless about the science and the debate and the arguments that you repeated, VERBATIM, lies that have been deliberately invented and spread around for that very purpose, to confuse and deceive the public.

    What was shocking to me, was that someone like you, who claims to be so very experienced is matters spiritual, would be so unaware of their own thinking and mental contents. You know, you might as well have been spewing out any advertising jingle or political slogan.

    Is that clear to you now ? I hope so.

    Look, as an individual human, I have great respect for your integrity and your spirituality. But that has NOTHING to do with this disagreement and the arguments.

    The fact that you are genuine, sincere, dedicated to your beliefs, whatever, doesn’t make any difference to the fate of the planet, the biosphere, does it. If it did, we wouldn’t have a problem.

    To change or effect the course of events takes something very different.

  • @Ulvfugl – You admit that there is a vigorous inquiry and debate in the scientific community about the whys and whens and mitigation possibilities with regard to climate issues, and then in the next breath you declare DEBATE OVER NTE IS A SCIENTIFIC FACT! In your head only dear Ulv.

    “we COULD get NTE.” Of course. I have said that right along, and it is also quite probable that we will get it, and there is nothing now we can do to avoid it. Do you really listen to me? Our dispute is about absolute certainty. I am in the highly probable camp, you are in the absolutely certain it’s over camp. Isn’t that clear by now. Give up on trying to push me in bed with the Koch Bros, or other climate change deniers. Like all good fundamentalists, there are no shades of gray for you, either you are 100% with me, or you are 100% on the side of the evil know nothings. Either spirituality is 100% perfect and solves all our problems instantly, or its worthless. No wonder you can present yourself as happy as a hog on ice, you have found a perfect answer to all problems, namely: There is no answer, kiss your ass goodbye and kick back and strum your lute or whatever while the planet burns…

    The right action you would have me perform is to tell all who will listen that it is over; you are all soon going to be cooked. And I was worrying over choosing gifts to give on Xmas? Your suggestion is perfect; I’ll just tell my friends that the usual type of gifts and good wishes are irrelevant now because along with spirituality, all that stuff is so yesterday, just totally passe amigos – Have a good, no make that learn to do with the coal and ashes and mercury and misery, there’s no good anything anymore, just thought I’d wake you up to your miserable future, what there is of it….

  • @ mike k

    “we COULD get NTE.” Of course. I have said that right along, and it is also quite probable that we will get it, and there is nothing now we can do to avoid it. Do you really listen to me? Our dispute is about absolute certainty. I am in the highly probable camp, you are in the absolutely certain it’s over camp. Isn’t that clear by now. Give up on trying to push me in bed with the Koch Bros, or other climate change deniers.

    Okay. Good. So, first thing, I thought I’d just made it clear that I never put you into bed with the Kochs, just that you don’t know what voices you have in your own head. So let’s put that all to one side.

    Our dispute is about absolute certainty. I am in the highly probable camp, you are in the absolutely certain it’s over camp.

    Well, that’s fair enough.

    I’m almost alone in my position, and I already see why most of the rest of the 7+billion don’t share my position, and I have already given up trying to change anybody’s mind, because it is a waste of my time and energy, so I do not argue about it anywhere, except on this blog and on xraymike’s blog, those two places being devoted to the thoughts of people, like myself, who have arrived at the same conclusion.

    First of all, there are a whole bundle of reasons why I am certain that we get NTE. I have also, more than once, said that I may be mistaken. There may be something which nobody has foreseen, there may be something which is as yet unknowable. Every day I scan the horizon, so to speak. All I can do is give the best possible estimation I am capable of.

    So, there are the geophysical factors, the positive feedbacks. We’ve messed up the planet’s surface, perturbed the system, everything has been thrown out of it’s previous state, and it’s now changing at a rate that is faster, in many respects, than at any other time in the
    entire geological record, except for impacts from outer space and massive volcanic eruptions. That correlates with a mass extinction event. There is no time for any of the larger life forms to evolve to adapt to these new conditions. Some may be lucky, that they find some niche, by chance, but most will be swept away, including us.

    But this may take a century. Perhaps that comforts you ? Perhaps that doesn’t count as ‘near’ ? It is ‘instant’ in geological terms.

    But civilisation will have gone long before, so the majority will have gone long before.

    How long ? That’s hard to foresee, isn’t it.

    Because, apart from the geophysical factors and the irreversible positive feedbacks, there are the human factors.

    How will the governments and corporations and the masses of the people respond ?

    This is the other reason why I am certain. There is no sign at all that we, as a species, the 7 – 9 billion, are capable of any adequate response.

    We will go to war – nuclear, biological, chemical, etc – over the diminishing resources, and the increasing stresses, we will have major revolutions, over the repression of populations, we will starve and die by the millions and millions, we will destroy every last vestige of the natural environment in our desperation to survive.

    What else can we do ? Nothing.

    The only way to avoid the collapse of the biosphere would be immediate ending of Industrial Civilisation, because that is the root cause of the problem. But that is impossible, because that itself means the premature deaths of millions and the end of everything that everybody in the developed countries wants and expects and assumes they are entitled to have.

    There is no time left. The time when we could have had an orderly transition, a sort of soft landing, so to speak, was decades ago. We could have planned to dismantle the monster and plan a different future, but we didn’t and now we’ve missed the chance.

    You see, I have been thinking about this stuff, almost constantly, day and night for the last thirty years, trying to avoid this outcome.
    You seem to think that because I am happy that I take this matter lightly and my ‘answer’ is to do nothing. It’s not that at all. You still have a lot of catching up to do.

    Also, you have completely misconstrued my position re spirituality. Not that it matters, really.

    Now, you can try and convince me that there is some ‘uncertainty’ involved, that makes my ‘certainty’ less probable.

    But many people have already tried and so far nobody has come up with anything remotely convincing. Hopium is no good. Magic vapourware technofixes are no good. Everybody becoming instant saints is no good.

    Come up with a hard-headed strategy for how we get from here, where we are, A, to where we would like to get to, B, some kind of Utopia, where we have some viable planet left, where some of the superb creatures still live… hmmmm…

    Most of the people have to die, very soon, and no more industrial civilisation. What other way is there ? And nobody is going to agree with me on that, as a political platform, are they ?

    I don’t even agree with it myself, because I don’t want to be the one who decides to kill everybody.

    So the future is impossible.

  • @Ulvfugl – I did not read your 8:20AM post before my sending off my Mr. Scroogy note. Always nice to hear from the kinder gentler Ulv. Glad you don’t kick old dogs too hard; not good for their arthritis etc. Puts you in line with the niyamas of the 8fold path which definitely are not in favor of old dog kicking.

    “The fact that you are genuine, sincere, dedicated to your beliefs, whatever, doesn’t make any difference to the fate of the planet, the biosphere, does it. If it did we wouldn’t have a problem.”

    1. My inner state of understanding does make a difference in my behavior. And how I behave does influence the world, however slightly. I have demonstrated my love of all living things by concrete actions, for instance planting over a thousand trees. I also chose, along with my wife, many years ago to not have reproductive sex and add to the population burden on our planet. When I was drafted to fight in the Korean War, I refused to take part in that crime.

    2. In spite of the above decisions on my part and many others, we still have an overwhelming problem on Earth. Sorry about that. If I had a lever as long as Archimedes wanted, and a place to stand, I would move the Earth into a new age of love and happiness forthwith. Your statement is a rhetorical ploy based on all or nothing thinking: either one is all powerful or he has no power whatever. As the I Ching counsels: everything furthers. I recommend Paul Hawken’s book Blessed Unrest which explores the power of millions of individuals and diverse small groups to affect history.

    “To change or effect the course of events takes something very different.”

    Like what? I thought you were saying to give up hope, nothing can save us. You are involved in a contradiction here, which I feel sure you will manage slip out of with serpentine ease. Surely you are not going to recommend joining with the deluded believers in DGR? Believe me, Lierre Keith and her gang are not going to get us anywhere but deeper in trouble, if that is even possible.

    Ulvfugl, what we hold in our heads and hearts is greatly determining our fate. This is so obvious I hesitate to expand on it. You will say maybe so, but it is irrelevant because we can’t change it. Individuals do change it, and so do small groups. Our problem is how to get more people back to sanity, a kind of global psycho-
    spiritual problem. How do you get people who don’t realize they are sick to enter treatment that might save their lives? I see it all the time at the drug treatment center up the road from my abode. Successful intervention methods are still a work in progress. Pulling that off on a societal basis needs some work too. You could frame the civil rights movement as a (partially) successful psychological intervention with real world consequences.

  • @ mike k

    I don’t fight on behalf of the humans, mike.

    I fight on behalf of the non-humans, should I show more kindness and compassion for the humans than they show for the non-humans ?

    Well, I treat each as an individual, according to their understanding.

    My inner state of understanding does make a difference in my behavior. And how I behave does influence the world, however slightly.

    Hahaha, yes, well, I accept that, but the ‘slightly’ is the problem. One grain of sand on the beach.

    I have demonstrated my love of all living things by concrete actions, for instance planting over a thousand trees. I also chose, along with my wife, many years ago to not have reproductive sex and add to the population burden on our planet. When I was drafted to fight in the Korean War, I refused to take part in that crime.

    Good. Well, basic common sense, decency, right livelihood, etc, but still no good unless the whole masses do it, and even then, as I’ve tried to explain, they still have to eat and shit and they are not going to change in time, they want tv and cars and coca cola and computers and to eat fancy food and all the stuff that capitalist consumer culture tempts them with.

    I live like a hermit in the Himalayas, I have also planted very many trees, it has no effect upon reducing the global CO2 levels.

    Your statement is a rhetorical ploy based on all or nothing thinking: either one is all powerful or he has no power whatever.

    No. I was happy to go along with the art of the possible, to aim for compromise, to think that at least my hands are clean, all kinds of approaches. Since May before last, I realised that it was over.

    It’s not very difficult to work out, really. Bit like the proverbial supertanker that takes a mile to stop after you put the brakes on.
    All you need to do is see that the rocks are three-quarters of a mile away, the ship is going full speed ahead, the captain is blind drunk, the chief engineer is asleep, the crew all speak a foreign language and cannot understand what anyone says to them, the cargo is highly flammable, the water is full of sharks… what’s going to happen ?

    If you were there on board, you’d be telling me that what we need to do is all become very kind and gentle and holy and…. :-)

    As the I Ching counsels: everything furthers. I recommend Paul Hawken’s book Blessed Unrest which explores the power of millions of individuals and diverse small groups to affect history.

    Hmph. I’ve read Hawken, since he first believed in fairies until he proposed that capitalism would save us. I have no time for him.

    Ulvfugl, what we hold in our heads and hearts is greatly determining our fate. This is so obvious I hesitate to expand on it. You will say maybe so, but it is irrelevant because we can’t change it. Individuals do change it, and so do small groups. Our problem is how to get more people back to sanity, a kind of global psycho-
    spiritual problem.

    Surely you must have spent a few hours on the internet ? and noticed the tens, hundreds, of thousands of groups already out there, who are into that sort of stuff ? There’s zillions. That’s part of the problem. Nobody can agree about ANYTHING. Just like this blog.

    How do you get people who don’t realize they are sick to enter treatment that might save their lives? I see it all the time at the drug treatment center up the road from my abode. Successful intervention methods are still a work in progress. Pulling that off on a societal basis needs some work too. You could frame the civil rights movement as a (partially) successful psychological intervention with real world consequences.

    You see, if you follow my analysis, where the problem is basically biological, that we have overshoot, that we have exceeded the carrying capacity, then no sort of mass movement can provide a solution, because it’s not a social or moral problem, is it, that would be amenable to some sort of legal reform or adjustment of behaviour.

    Climate chaos will quickly reduce global carrying capacity even further. Nature will reduce the population. Your spiritual beliefs will help you to endure the shocks and suffering.

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

  • @Ulvfugl – I’m sorry to have to say this to you but you’ve been blowing your cool of late on this thread. Save you strength for the big game and don’t get manic. You writing even a thousand more posts to either mike or to that EVIL, I do mean very EVIL troll, would be just like farting into the wind at this point. Why, if nothing else go play with your dog as I’m sure that he or she will be getting much out of your company than they will. PEACE!

  • what we hold in our heads and hearts is greatly determining our fate

    Incorrect tense.

    What we held in our heads and hearts determined our fate.

    What we held in our heads was the means to a higher material standard of living, and what we held in our hearts was that the past was a guide to the future.

    Our fate is now set. We’re just arguing about the time line and observing it unfold.

  • @ Belle Islander

    I don’t let this stuff interfere with enjoying life with my dog, and if mike k wants to haggle and Guy tolerates the haggling, I’m happy to press ahead because it helps to think through all the various angles, not just for mike and myself, but for anyone else who reads.

    [audio src="http://www.unwelcomeguests.net/archive/651/Aric%20McBay%20-%20Earth%20At%20Risk,%202011.mp3" /]

  • @ Belle, Ulvfugl – Let us be Belle. I am learning from U. I am a slow and deliberate learner, but my thought process is always open and constantly reviewing my ideas and understandings. I discern that U has many of the same concerns as I do, and has walked some different paths than mine, so he is catalyzing a lot of thought in me that needs to happen. Our dialog is perhaps not relevant for everybody, I get that. Just skip it if it seems boring or irrelevant to you. I have been on this search since childhood, and will continue as long as I draw breath. If I should end up in a plane beyond Earth, you can bet I will be asking questions from the day I arrive.

    Much of what U is saying I have said to myself often in the same words. I know what despairing of this world is like. I also know that there are realities far beyond those we are familiar with, and that intrigues me. Those who feel they have closed the book on the deeper questions and mysteries of our life here on Earth puzzle me. There is so much more to know! We have hardly scratched the surface of our possibilities. It’s too early to throw in the towel imo. I am not here to tell anyone they should not call it a day for the human experiment, but I want to explore more possibilities myself. Call it a personal quirk if you will, but folks with that sort of quirk have sometimes come up with some really amazing and actually useful things… You never know is one of my favorite phrases.

  • @ mike k

    I don’t have any problem with your questing, mike.

    I know the materialist paradigm of reality is dead, or should be considered dead, but nobody has yet come up with anything acceptable to replace it, so we’re stuck, and even then, it takes generations for new paradigms to filter through culture.

    We’d have to have some genius who can reconcile all the quantum stuff and all the anomalies and tie everything into a conceptual whole that can be comprehended by ordinary folk in the street. Chances of that happening ? Any time soon ? Zero.

    Every week someone comes up with a new theoretical claim re the ultimate nature of the Universe, and potentially, there’s no end to that. It’s all too crazy for ordinary folk. That’s why there’s such a backlash. Ordinary people want a ‘sensible’ cosmology that gives them a stable view of themselves existing in a universe they can comprehend, so they can feel just a little bit secure and where things make a little bit of sense to them.

    Personally, I’m fine with the cosmic dance, I can let go of everything, but most people aren’t equipped for that, are they.

    I’d go along with this guy, to some extent (you probably can’t hear him though, with your computer problem) just in this first video. Got my serious doubts about the rest of his work.

    All that said, it is still all irrelevant to what this blog is about, NTE, etc, because these anomalous effects that don’t fit the standard orthodox materialist paradigm are marginal, they are barely detectable, and don’t have relevance to the gross material substance of the world that concerns us when we’re talking about climate, do they.

    When you stand at the see shore, it’s the tides, it’s the gales, it’s the Sun, that are the great powers, not the subtle telepathic whisperings or your own chi, and without this material world with food to eat and clean water, we will not be around to pursue the questing any further.

    The old fashioned Newtonian physics is fine for most of what we need to know regarding basic survival and the melting ice caps and so forth.

    Your suggestion re the global psycho-spiritual problem, well, I agree, in a way. But it’s the Tower of Babel. I’ve just spent thirty years trying to explain to people that this fuck up was going to happen :-)

    Probably, what will happen now, as the disasters become more acute, people will be drawn to more and more crazy cults, e.g. Pentecostalism and Santa Muerte and Voudun are thriving, and that won’t help either.

  • @Ulvfugl – In most folk’s inventory of the features of our Universe, I don’t think they give enough value and importance to human ignorance. Unlike modern physicists who have been forced to admit the Universe is mostly structured and composed of dark matter and dark energy (where dark means we have no idea what this is) most people prefer to live within the limits of a known world which is no more than a reflection and projection of their own need for a knowable, reasonable, limited and predictable stage for their own little dramas. That most of reality consists of unknown depths and possibilities is a little disorienting and scary. Hence the eagerness with which many prefer to put what Carl Sagan, the tireless promoter of the religion of science, called in one of his books “the demon haunted world” as far behind them as possible. Can’t blame them given the spookiest aspects of the unknown he trotted out. Kinda like the “new atheists” I used to be so much like.

    At any rate I found out over time, there are unexpected depths and forces and beings and agendas behind the unassuming façade of our conventional “reality”. This explains why I take these occult (hidden from daytime vision realities) seriously, and hold out some hope for help from them. I find it intriguing that Derrick Jensen in his book Dreams refers to this area as “other sides” and seeks help from there for his own sense of mission. We can’t really blame those with no experience of these realities for thinking it is all moonshine of the somewhat unbalanced. So be it. The dogs bark, the caravan moves on. If someone were to tell a friend with no experience thereof about the conclusions of quantum mechanics, they would feel justified in flatly denying such nonsense. Even Einstein was quite put off by these ideas.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if our new found allegiance to scientific method and a reasonable world turned out to be one of the nooses we were hanging ourselves with? Which is not to say that science properly understood is not true and beautiful, and absolutely necessary for our salvation… It helps me to know that I am not alone in seeking some juice from hidden (by ourselves from ourselves) dimensions, not all of the seekers theeof small potatoes like myself. Of course one can choose to believe that the great mystics and spiritual teachers throughout the ages were just cracked and full of baloney, but…. (Please don’t tell me they don’t count U, because they didn’t save all of us from our own stupidity!)

  • @ mike k

    (Please don’t tell me they don’t count U, because they didn’t save all of us from our own stupidity!)

    I think that is indeed just what I am telling you, mike.

    Since c. age 8, earlier, I’ve suffered from Cluster Headache, which is the most painful condition it’s possible to have (wiki) with no correct diagnosis or remedy until a few years ago, so I was forced to learn how to leave my body to escape the pain, at an early age, so I learned shamanic flight technique decades before I learned that there was such a thing as shamans.

    And I’ve followed the meditation and other practices of many different schools. So, I’d say I’m thoroughly familiar with the landscape of the Otherworld, to the degree that I’d humbly suggest that there’s nothing I don’t know.

    It is all very interesting, important, but it won’t fix the CO2.

    As for the world, the Universe, that science explores, I have no time for scientism and the new atheists, I think they are rather nasty, narrow-minded people. But I also have no time for many of their opponents, who are hopelessly woolly-minded dreamers who live in their personal fantasies.

    So, we are not to far away from one another, regarding much of this, because there are scientists who are humble, accept the wonder and mystery of it all, and press ahead with the proper study as it should be practised, to investigate and attempt to understand what surrounds us, as best we can, by means of the rigorous scientific discipline and methodology.

    The trouble is, the picture keeps changing. These days, almost weekly.
    And this is most unsettling. So, there is a reaction. Ordinary simple folk can’t cope with this flux, this uncertainty, this craziness, they want something stable, that they can hold unto, and I have a great deal of sympathy for them.

    Even if they turn to the Church, and try to find their old fashioned God, they find that suddenly they have to accept gay marriage and female priests and all sorts of upheaval there as well. Everything is in turmoil.

    In my understanding, from anthropology, etc, the purpose of a belief system, culturally, which would originally have been derived from shamanic experiences, would have been to give the small tribal group a sense of identity, a sense of meaning, a sense of orientation and continuity, in all this vastness, codes of practice for all the stages of human lives, and so forth.

    Even the awful ‘Dominion’ and ‘Go forth and multiply’ probably made complete sense at the time, if there were only a few thousand shepherd families, with high infant mortality, always fearful of being swept away by the fiercesome forces that surrounded them. It probably gave them a confidence they desperately needed.

    What we have now is this crazy post-modern soup of fragmented pieces, no leadership, no coherent thinking about anything. This is just one more reason why we get NTE.

    It takes a long time to build up a following and organise political power to be an effective force on the world stage to be able to make a difference.

    There’s always factionalism, we see it here, the supporters of McPherson, DGR, the Archdruid, Orlov, Gail, McKibben, etc, etc, and random lunatics causing mayhem. We saw it with Occupy.

    There is no time left. Which of the groups which already have power are actually on the right path ? As far as I can see, there aren’t any.
    And, anyway, as soon as they become effective, the leaders get corrupted or assassinated or neutralised one way or another.

    So we get these temporary flashes, Assange, Snowden, some event, every day, there’s the latest headline, and then it passes… whatever happened to the Boston Bombing and all the crazy stuff surrounding those two brothers that made no sense ? It’s already all forgotten and we all move on…

    We’re lead blindly by technological innovation that follows science and profit, which is just crazy, constantly courting catastrophe.

    There are smart people with very good ideas as to how to fix the mess, but they have no money and no power. The people with the money and the power are mostly evil corrupt psychopaths. So we get NTE.

    Because the great beauty, – if you can call it that, ugliness would be better – of capitalism, is that it appeals to everyone’s weaknesses and selfishness.

    It tempts their short-term appetites and their individual self-interest, quite regardless of their nationality or political affiliation or age. It’s a sort of universal lowest common denominator, and what have we got that can compete ?

    Can’t see anything…

  • @ mike k

    I hope you don’t mind, I moved your comment over here, because I don’t want to disrupt Christy’s thread, and if anyone ever happens to read this one, it’ll make more sense here.

    OK. It’s over. You win. Or I should say reality wins. Not your fault. Thanks for your role in getting me to see this. We are cooked. There will be no reprieve. Sentence passed, execution guaranteed. I have swallowed the black pill, now I will try to digest it. My personal life does not end here, nor the need to be the best person I can. But my struggle to dream a way we could beat the rap does end. I suppose it had to at some point. I am too big a truth fan to continue lying to myself in spite of awakening to the dark truth.
    This is not an awakening that I wanted to happen, but now that it has, I somehow feel a burden has been lifted. Thanks again to you and others on this site for this strange gift of clarity about our situation.

    Of course I win, I have never been beaten, but, sorry, you don’t understand, this isn’t about winning some rhetorical contest or debate, is it, it really nothing to do with the verbal exchange between us, it’s about the true nature of the reality of the world and the situation that we find ourselves in at this time.

    Despite all I have said, I am NOT the final arbiter, and I do NOT have the final say as to the fate of this planet.

    Something can happen which changes the picture. Yellowstone Super Volcano. Unforeseeable global pandemic. Whatever.

    All I can do is give the best possible assessment I am capable of.

    It’s not over. That’s what this blog is about. Or what it has become, because when it began, it was very different, there was still all sorts of hope and all sorts of options remained open.

    But once one recognises that some things have become irreversible, and that no action is being taken, and that no action will be taken, then, eventually, this terrible conclusion arrives.

    And it is terrible. It is, the worst moment, the worst moments, of my entire life.

    Nothing compares.

    Then what ? That’s what this blog has become. Then what ?

    Standing on the Beach of Doom.

    People arrive clutching straws. Almost everyone does. We all did.

    The heartbreak is unendurable.

    Everybody responds in their own way. There is no formula. It has nothing to do with winning arguments.

    Then what ?

    We do whatever we do…. ?

  • @Ulvfugl – I know that this has nothing to do with winning arguments. That is too trivial in light of what we are facing. I want to thank you again. You have been an important teacher for me. I know you don’t consider yourself as such, but I have had many teachers on my path, many of whom had no idea they were teaching me.

    “The heartbreak is unendurable.” But one must go on in spite of it. I am shaken, but strangely glad. This final realization of our fate has been growing in me since the 60’s. As you correctly discerned, I have been trying not to accept the full certainty and finality of it all these years. My single minded pursuit of spiritual studies allowed me to look away from it. But it was always there. I read the Brothers Karamazov at an early age, and the problem of theodicy has pursued me ever since. This realization of our collective doom puts a whole new edge on it. There is much inner settling ahead of me. Prior to our encounter I was becoming more and more aware of my need to heed the serenity prayer, and let go of trying to save the world. Being abused in my youth -not sexually- but with cruelty made me want to be a hero and save others. I will still reach out to individuals, but now I can take the world off my back, and quit rolling that damned boulder up and down the hill!

  • @ mike k

    Yes, lovely man, but you can still save others, you can still save everyone and everything you ever meet for the rest of your life, all you have to do is stop fucking trying :-) Then it’s effortless, it just does it by itself, because it’s that ‘someone trying’ that gets in the way and spoils it, so stop trying to be God, and let God be you, as it were, or be a Buddha, or the Tao or those Other forces, whatever term fits, the thing just does it by itself if you are completely empty and pure, that’s what I meant about having found what I was looking for, long ago, here it is, right in front of my nose, all the time, inescapable, unavoidable, the Ultimate Miracle, everything is sacred and holy, dharmakaya, whatever you name it reduces it, so don’t even think of naming it, just smile :-) Then wherever you go, wherever you are, the whole world becomes enlightened :-) What more can you do ?

    Still doesn’t fix the CO2 though, does it :-(

    ‘vanity of vanities, all is vanity’

    http://www.bartleby.com/108/21/1.html

  • @Ulvfugl – Your advice is right on. My mind is overstocked with the thousands of books I have read.

    In 1244, Rumi met Shams Tabriz, a dervish “God-man” who had taken a vow of poverty. Their meeting is considered a central event in Rumi’s life. Though accounts of their meeting differ, one story claims that Rumi was teaching by a fountain, and Shams walked up through the crowd of students and pushed Rumi’s books into the water, including his father’s spiritual diary. “You must now live what you have been reading about,” Shams told Rumi.

    You also remind me to let the inner smile of Taoist understanding gently be there. My aikido teacher in Hawaii always had that smile.
    Let go and let God, eh? More good counsel…

  • @ mike

    I think many conundrums, koans, arise. It was easier in the past. You could become a saint, and then just walk about being saintly :-)
    Like St Francis, or Ramana Maharshi, or Krishnamurti, but as soon as you decide that there is something wrong with the world, like now, something is out of balance that requires correction, then you leave the domain of pure spirit and enter into worldly affairs, and if you have some objective, instead of just ‘floating in the fountains of the Lord’, then you fall from grace to some extent because you get entangled in all the karma of your actions.

    So, instead of pure bliss, every day there’s demons on the doorstep.
    So you have to learn to enjoy fighting with demons. :-)
    We know what happens, from history, almost every effective leader who was really good gets martyred. So if you just want to be with God, you stay in a monastery or a cave, and hide.

    But if we are approaching the end of civilisation and the end of the human story, what now ?

    I listened very closely to the words from the interfaith gatherings, where the leaders gave their statements about the environmental crisis.
    They are ALL USELESS. They spout the same vacuous platitudes that we hear from the politicians and from the heads of the NGOs and from the scientists and all the other figure heads. Everybody evades responsibility, and mutters meaningless phrases which are churned out by the MSM with an inevitable final paragraph ‘unless urgent action is taken’.

    Nobody ever says what this ‘action’ should be, or could be, or who should take it. It’s ALL bullshit, and it’s been the same for twenty years and nothing has happened except that everything has got worse and worse.

    So we can either throw our bodies in front of The Machine, as DGR advocates, and die with honour, or we can let The Machine continue to destroy the biosphere and kill us all and most living things, or we can try to build some alternatives that work, or we can do all three simultaneously, which is sort of what is happening…

    But I still think we get NTE.

    If it is already inevitable that there will be enough warming to lose the Arctic ice cap, from memory, I think the changed albedo makes for equivalent warming equal to all the CO2 since industrialisation began, c.200 years ago, so that’s going be around 2 deg C. and if we stop industrial activity, that stops the cooling effect of the aerosol particulates from smog, which have had a cooling effect, so that adds a degree or two, and so you start jotting down all these things… you know, Guy’s list, that isn’t on the IPCC list, and you realise that most of what’s on the IPCC list is made up bullshit, like the assumption that China and India will peak emissions NOW, when there’s no intention of doing that..they say maybe in 2030… the whole future looks unutterably bleak..

    Theoretically, the leadership of the great faiths, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, Jews, Taoists, etc, and the many minor religions, could actually change the whole situation dramatically, because they already have a power base, and their people listen to them for guidance, and tend to trust them more than politicians. But I don’t think they will ever do it because they are more interested in competing.

  • @ mike

    Some food for thought, someone else thinking much the same as I just wrote, only they still cling to hopium..

    What I actuallysaw that day was an illustration of what has been called the “G Zero”: a world in
    which no leaders are really prepared to think beyond their national interests, or show vision on
    tough global issues.
    As the last vestiges of my naivety fell away, it dawned on me that far from engaging with the big
    issues of fairness in conditions of environmental limits, the High Level Panel would in fact barely be
    willing to acknowledge the existence of any natural limits in the first place.
    And, amid the disappointment and disillusionment, I lost my faith.
    Not in God, you understand, but in something I’d given much more of my life to: the conviction that
    rational arguments, backed up by well-presented evidence, would be enough to persuade politicians
    of the case for the radical actions needed to build a fairer and more sustainable world.
    All of which made me wonder: if evidence and rational arguments aren’t enough, then what is?

    http://www.globaldashboard.org/wp-content/uploads/Modern-Church-presentation.pdf

  • @Ulv – From the mid 60’s I began thinking it would take a new religious movement that focused on environmental issues and the danger to our planetary existence of capitalism, war, etc. This new religion would have reverence for the beauty and truth of science and contempt for those who would misuse it for selfish purposes. It would be a faith that taught meditation and tolerance for all true spiritual traditions, etc. As much as I was aware of the downside of a leader based movement, I felt it would probably take a charismatic leader to get the ball moving. Although there have been in the intervening years some gestures in that direction, none of them has gathered enough support to make a difference. I came up with other ideas including the possibility of accessing tantric powers, siddhis, or Divine Helpers. Interestingly, the founders of Esalen Institute Michael Murphy and Richard Price were students of Sri Aurobindo’s teachings, which were in this direction. Among the many strands that were explored at Esalen including LSD and a lot of Eastern approaches to healing and transcendence, this attempt to “wrest fire from Heaven” remained primary to the founder’s goal. Murphy wrote several books in that direction, including Jacob Atabet and others. I don’t think that spring has run dry, but access to such power is hard to get. As Sufi’s say, the secret protects itself. If you think about it, too much power too soon for spiritually unevolved humans is a root of our problems. So that avenue is as full of more user beware signs than the path to nuclear energies was strewn with. So that solution, although not impossible, seems to be fraught with serious difficulties. Something about the overall purpose of this manifestation…

    Given the reality of dimensions of intelligence and power far beyond what we presently possess, it is not unreasonable to scout these possibilities. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. Those who have had no access to the hidden dimensions of reality understandably hold such ventures in contempt. Those who have had some experience realize that there are more things in heaven and earth than our ordinary philosophy dreams of, and continue to explore. Einstein’s dictum that we cannot solve our problems with the same worldview an methods that created them may be relevant here. Whether these or other unforeseen approaches will afford us some real relief from our agonies cannot be known. It’s a very long shot. But sometimes you have to gamble. What have we got to lose? If we continue as we are doing we are certain to lose it all…

  • “Yes, lovely man, but you can still save others, you can still save everyone and everything you ever meet for the rest of your life, all you have to do is stop fucking trying :-) Then it’s effortless, it just does it by itself, because it’s that ‘someone trying’ that gets in the way and spoils it, so stop trying to be God, and let God be you, as it were, or be a Buddha, or the Tao or those Other forces, whatever term fits, the thing just does it by itself if you are completely empty and pure…”

    Nicely put, and who wouldda believed the conversation could get this civil! Bravo to mike k. for persevering so wisely.

  • From the mid 60’s I began thinking it would take a new religious movement that focused on environmental issues and the danger to our planetary existence of capitalism, war, etc. This new religion would have reverence for the beauty and truth of science and contempt for those who would misuse it for selfish purposes. It would be a faith that taught meditation and tolerance for all true spiritual traditions, etc. As much as I was aware of the downside of a leader based movement, I felt it would probably take a charismatic leader to get the ball moving. Although there have been in the intervening years some gestures in that direction, none of them has gathered enough support to make a difference. I came up with other ideas including the possibility of accessing tantric powers, siddhis, or Divine Helpers. Interestingly, the founders of Esalen Institute Michael Murphy and Richard Price were students of Sri Aurobindo’s teachings, which were in this direction. Among the many strands that were explored at Esalen including LSD and a lot of Eastern approaches to healing and transcendence, this attempt to “wrest fire from Heaven” remained primary to the founder’s goal. Murphy wrote several books in that direction, including Jacob Atabet and others. I don’t think that spring has run dry, but access to such power is hard to get. As Sufi’s say, the secret protects itself. If you think about it, too much power too soon for spiritually unevolved humans is a root of our problems. So that avenue is as full of more user beware signs than the path to nuclear energies was strewn with. So that solution, although not impossible, seems to be fraught with serious difficulties. Something about the overall purpose of this manifestation…

    Given the reality of dimensions of intelligence and power far beyond what we presently possess, it is not unreasonable to scout these possibilities. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. Those who have had no access to the hidden dimensions of reality understandably hold such ventures in contempt. Those who have had some experience realize that there are more things in heaven and earth than our ordinary philosophy dreams of, and continue to explore. Einstein’s dictum that we cannot solve our problems with the same worldview an methods that created them may be relevant here. Whether these or other unforeseen approaches will afford us some real relief from our agonies cannot be known. It’s a very long shot. But sometimes you have to gamble. What have we got to lose? If we continue as we are doing we are certain to lose it all…

  • @Ulvfugl – Sorry for the double post, my pc glitches. I guess I am not that pure and hands off at this point. I still feel the need to get my hands in it and do some karma yoga. One of my main teachers, Sri Aurobindo, taught in his Synthesis of Yoga that karma, bhakti, and jnana yoga should all be practiced – and I agree. Different strokes for different folks? My Sufi practice enjoined ‘in the world, but not of it.” Ken Wilber felt that the purely ascending path so popular among many in the East ignored the suffering of the world to work exclusively for a personal realization and freedom from worldly involvement. Mahayana Buddhism was a path that set out the ideal of postponing final liberation to serve the world. I know you know all this. We each are free to follow any path. And all spiritual paths have value. I understand that helping others is a tricky process that often best succeeds by indirection, and being a non-interfering catalyst. Our personal choices of teachers and paths will always leave many possibilities unexplored, but that’s just how it is…

  • @ mike

    Yes.

    What can I say ? Same as throwing the books into the fountain, how about forgetting about all those paths ? You see, I’m sick to death of all the seekers climbing their spiritual mountain.

    There is no mountain, there is this, here, now, wherever you are, that’s it, and either you’ve got it, here, now, or not.

    So I do every-minute-zen. If I could do every-nanosecond-zen, I’d do that.

    You see, there’s nowhere for me to get to. I’m there. I’m here.

    Because I only get my one lifetime. This is never going to come back. I don’t have time to be faffing about climbing imaginary metaphorical mountains anymore. My death sits beside me.

    I have a huge repetoire of practices that I have learned and gathered from many schools and traditions, which are highly effective and powerful. But as we’ve touched on already, I don’t matter. I write here because I’m still fighting for the non-humans.

    Humans have agency, they are the only voice that can speak for, and act for, the biosphere. Most do not. The vast majority do not.

    I think it is too late, but that doesn’t mean I give up. I am a warrior. Just because my city has fallen to a conqueror, the walls are breached, doesn’t mean I surrender. I fight until they kill me, because it is my city, and I will not live as their slave, in my own city, if you see what I mean.

    I have dignity and I have honour and I have self-respect and I have liberty, and I have my commitment to what I perceive to be truth and the principles that I value. All those things can be taken away, perhaps will be taken away, but I can fight for them, until death takes them away. I don’t mind death taking them away. I’m on quite friendly terms with death :-)

    “Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”

    http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html

    Madsen notes that the original axial movements emerged on the margins of powerful empires. Only at the edges of societies and institutions might you find the kind of balance between playfulness with inherited traditions, and respect for them too, that can retap the axial energy and transmit it in ways that are once again meaningful.

    Madsen highlights the emergence of forms of socially engaged Buddhism in Taiwan. In the Christian tradition, Madsen finds inspiration in South Korea and its “vigorous minjung [people’s] Christian theology, which mixes some of the expansionist passion of evangelical Christianity with the concern for social justice of ecumenical Christianity.” In the west, Madsen points to Taizé, the Sant’Egidio community and the Sojourners.

    Practical wisdom and spiritual vitality is sought in these movements. They are flexible, unlike fundamentalist religious movements, because their way of life is orientated not around protecting doctrines but around the struggle to be faithful to the deepest principles of their tradition. They also strive imaginatively to communicate their “findings”. And they engage in critical dialogue with other traditions, a dialogue energised more by the exchange of ideas than the claim to power.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/nov/17/new-axial-age-robert-bellah