Comments 79

  • Sustainable living projects are Everywhere – even the Prius driving, reusable grocery bag toting crowd claims to be moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle. It’s all too little too late.

    I’m sitting on this runaway train staring out the window. I don’t have a garden, I don’t have guns & ammo, I don’t have water storage…

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • I’m hunkering down in the Chicago wilderness. Close to a large body of fresh water, lots of ready made shelter available and once the Zion nuclear power plant goes critical, I think the prevailing winds miss most of the area, most of the time. At this stage in my life and in the collapse, trying to doomstead anywhere else would be suicidal. I figure the vast majority of people in any city will do their best to flee in their cars and end up stranded forever on a highway somewhere. The people that stay behind will work it out as best as possible or get gunned by the police. Trying scratch out a living once it all goes belly up strikes me as pointless. I have no interest in “surviving” I want to live.


    What A Year: 45 Fossil Fuel Disasters The Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know About

    (please check it out)

    I expect an abrupt crash of civilization on the tail of momentous climate change on or close to 2019. To me, no one will make it through the 2020s. Looking at just what’s happened in the last few years we’ve seen larger die-offs of species, much more radiation introduced into the biosphere (where now 1/3 of the planets water is poisoned, and growing every day), food prices are sky-rocketing all over the world as it’s becoming more and more difficult to grow crops and raise livestock, diseases are mounting (affecting vegetation, birds, marine, human and other animals) with new ones arising regularly (H10N8 the latest out of China), and the natural world is reacting with more powerful storms, rain and drought events, combined with increased volcanic activity and earthquakes.

    Despite all this, we have changed NOTHING to mitigate any of it and continue living as if in a dream, polluting away, assuming it’ll stay this way forever no matter what we do. Reality will strike like a meteor hitting the planet causing the end of civilization, with all its interacting dependency. Food supply lines will be disrupted, probably permanently, infrastructure will continue to degrade, public health will be overwhelmed, governments will be toppled, widespread chaos and violence will be the norm amidst the failure of the electrical grid, the melting down of more nuke plants and storage pools and the uncountable dying of all the species we depend on (including pets) all around us.

    Much as I’d like to think sustainability a valuable avenue to explore, no one is going to survive – and if someone were to survive they’d wish they hadn’t and won’t be around long in a continually degrading environment with a runaway greenhouse climate.

    With all the radiation being spewed (and it’s just starting) we’ll see more deformities in births (in all species), making them unfit to live, let alone thrive; it is raining out already into the ground and being ingested by land animals, fish, fowl, and taken up by plants of all kinds including food crops, so cancers will rise dramatically in the near future. There’s no “safe” dose, and the “background” radiation seems to be rising every time it’s measured (see

    But lots of luck on the venture RE, to which I commend your efforts. All the best, sincerely.

  • I absolutely love the optimism inherent in Sun’s mission. I share this, admittedly guarded, optimism. That is why my wife and I retired from Alaska (unsustainable climate) to eastern Washington state (sustainable climate). We are building a net zero house, out of pocket, on 10 acres of pine forest while trying to establish a “community” of like-minded folks. Our farm FB page is Old Fart-a-muit here we journal our efforts.

  • Being busy and hopeful is a good way to live out the last days.
    A dozen years ago I began planting lots of fruit and nut trees, grape vines,berry bushes, etc. I figured back then that if all goes to hell, at least there would be something to eat. I have loads of fruit now, which mostly goes to waste since people would rather get just exactly what they want, when they want it, at the grocery store. All of these varieties of plants are suitable for my area of coastal NC, without having to use chemical spraying or artificial fertilizer. It all takes a bit of work, but it is fun watching it grow.
    But, the problem: the climate here is going to change drastically in the next few years. I doubt many of these plants will be healthy in 5 or ten years. If they can’t survive, do I really want to? Is it worth the money and work trying to set up everything for tough times ahead when massive disruptions in climate, and other catastrophes, will make a mockery of the best of our plans? Maybe we should just enjoy our last years and not work so hard.

  • Guy, you jest, or you is a hypocritical prevert.

    The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 March 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America. I will be included with an otherwise-excellent group of facilitators for this remarkable two-week experience.

    Take the next step by producing tons of CO2?

    Flying thousands of miles at 500 mph in one of industrial society’s most massively polluting machines to learn about simple living & spirituality from new age flakes is truly mad.

  • Gerald Spezio, your idiocy and ignorance are profoundly sad. How many times must I point out to you Jevons’ paradox, the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, and reality? Call this once more.

  • It is ultimately ironic that the best way to deal with NTE, which is largely due to billions living in a world of make believe, may be to create make believe projects that one makes believe are real in order to pass the time in relative comfort before the not make believe NTE catches up to you. (Forget I said that – it might spoil your chances to minimize your suffering…)

  • After reading Dahr Jamail,s latest piece, I just had to find out more about the one nicknamed McStinction! I am very surprised at the negativity in the comments about your SUN project. If this were the 60’s, people would be jumping all over this to get on board (I know that box of Mother Earth News is around here somewhere) I find it sad so many people seem to have given up all hope that our species will survive. Have we evolved to such a degree we have lost or will to survive. Yes, big change is coming, but I still want to be on the team that is last to bat. Although I like the SUN project concept, I wretch at the term Doomstead! All the best to you and thank-you for your advocacy in raising awareness of the biggest challenge for mankind.

  • “raising awareness of the biggest challenge for mankind.”

    Soon NTE ribbons will be worn, along with bracelets and special tattoos to, you know, raise awareness and stuff. If this were the 1860s, we would be involved in a huge Civil War and not concerned with the biggest challenge for mankind. Which come to think of it, is the onset of worldwide, unending starvation. Will we adapt in time to become autotrophic beings? Or will we go the way of the yeast colony in Mrs. Kafakesque’s second grade class? It hardly matters, as a positive outlook is all one needs to combat global extinction.

  • Sounds just the ticket. Sign me up!

  • Maybe you will get that last at bat Neal. And maybe just a moment after that sizzling NTE fastball smashes into your skull, and the lights go out forever in the theater of your mind, you can realize you did it!…you had the last bat.

  • As is to be expected here on NBL, any post that has any optimism to it brings the Hopelessly Negative out from behind the refrigerator. So certain was I that this sort of response would come here that I have ALREADY written a response article for that. :) It won’t appear here for a while due to Guy’s pretty long queue for articles, but I’ll have it up on the Diner on Sunday.

    There a few issues I have identified not yet in the DSM-V at work here. Hopeless Environmental Living Problem, Perenial Industrial Suffering Syndrome, and Suffering Helplessly in Terror. Together, this group of ailments is known as HELP PISS & SHIT. :)

    I’m not going to go into detail here bogging down in the negative, I’ll save that for the next article.

    Only other thing to address right now is Alaska having an unsustainable environment, I disagree with that. Inuit, Aleuts, Haida et al all lived here sustainably for millenia. Besides that, assuming warming trends continue, it should get more balmy here over the next few years. :)


  • @Gerald Spezio

    Your continuous criticism of Guy is tedious and way off the mark. Guy sincerely believes, as do many of us here, that humans will be extinct in 20-30 years due to catastrophic, non-linear climate change. At this point no matter what we do it’s game over.

    This being the case. The most important thing left is to come to terms with our fate and DO WHAT WE CAN TO MINIMIZE SUFFERING. To this end even if one person decides not to procreate after hearing Guy’s talk, or if another person decides to take Guy’s advice and embrace the moment and go forward with greater compassion, Guy’s efforts are worthwhile.

    I have no doubt that if Guy believed he could stop climate change by not flying, HE WOULDN’T DO SO. To wit, look at what he did to minimize his carbon footprint by walking away from empire to live in a mud hut (back when he thought there still might be hope due to peak oil causing the collapse of industrial civilization).

    Gerald, I strongly recommend you read all of Guy’s posts over the years. You’ll see how his views have developed and evolved. You’ll notice that his actions have been consistent with his beliefs.

  • @Neal

    You wrote you are new to this site and so the focus of it may be hard for you to deal with, but you’ll find many informed voices here and more acceptance of the facts than anywhere else on the web that I’ve come across. Are you checking out Seemorerocks and Desdemona Despair?

    What you are perceiving as negativity here may be people striving to accept NTE. I see them and us being courageous and strong.

    Look around you. Notice the trees. The oceans are dying, just ask Ivan McFayden or the dolphins, whales, shrimp, tuna, etc, etc. Look at the plankton dying. No plankton we lose 50% of the oxygen on the planet. What do you think the odds are that we’ll be restoring the plankton and the remainder of the trees?

    Let’s go out better than we’ve lived. A few have gotten away with murder and there will be no justice for the other species except for all humans to go extinct. We are in hospice. Let’s use the remaining time wisely.

    One of our fellow posters recommended the following book which I’ve got on hold at the local library The Top Five Regrets of the Dying A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing By Ware, Bronnie.

    People here are doing many things and discussing many things. Stick around and see if what’s being discussed isn’t more reflective of the world than what most MSM and other people selling Hopium.

    On a more general note.

    In general some may find this video funny. It features Doug Stanhope and it’s called Abortion is Green – I’m not sure (and find it hard to believe) what he says about Hummers is true, but I’m learning something new everyday and am open to at least thinking about it.

  • Jeez, I feel like I dealing with Pajama Boi. Let me help you re-phrase a few of your sentences to better reflect reality. You wrote:

    “Large Government structures are no longer either responsive to the real needs of people, nor are they very effective in meeting them either.”

    Here’s a more accurate description:

    Government and corporate structures are not responsive to the needs of people, nor are they effective in meeting them. This isn’t a bug, it’s a feature – governments & corporations evolved as a competitive strategy pursued by those wishing to maximize the confiscation of productive wealth from individuals.

    “One Kludge after another is dropped into place to keep the system we have running another day, but it is living on Borrowed Time.”

    Governments & corporations continually drop one kludge after another to keep the system running another day, but it is living on borrowed time. Fortunately, at least for the PTB, they are armed with bio/chem/nuke weapons, direct millions of police & military to do their bidding, and control the monetary & banking system which provides them with whatever amount of funds are required to purchase/maintain loyalty and retain control.

    99% are sheep who have no clue. .99% (ie doomers) know what’s going on, but a significant number seem to think the .01% are going to finally fess up and hand over the reins. Fat chance!

    A smart analyst (or chess master) knows when the game is over long before others wake up to the fact. Like tipping over the king, the smart & savvy should be thinking about how this is going to play out at a real, ground level, and make plans accordingly.

    Voluntarily making yourself a target is about as foolish as one can be.

  • Thanks, RE (which could stand for Resistance Engineering too?).

    Your model, though admirable and certain (like space exploration) to inform us all, is not for everyone. I offer a more average-person scenario as well: Staying put in the existing built environment. (The path of least resistance and change might be the most feasible.

    The challenge is to garner a set of like-minded neighbors who believe in cooperation. A lot of folks in my state have solar panels that feed the grid. (It costs much more to go completely off-grid.) With the grid down, I could see those with solar hooking up lines to those without, with strict limits to consumption for all in the network. Very strong safeguard against abuse would be required.

    Where I live, the wells are losing 10 ft depth a year. I want them to start rationing water drastically and immediately. Despite my very limited power and water use, I’m willing, and perhaps able, to cut my uses in half. If I don’t do it voluntarily, with community benefit in mind, the likelihood of being forced to face even less pleasant alternatives down the road could increase.

  • “Although I like the SUN project concept, I wretch at the term Doomstead! All the best to you and thank-you for your advocacy in raising awareness of the biggest challenge for mankind.”-NH

    Thanks for the Positive thoughts on SUN. :)

    Doomstead Diner is meant to be tongue in cheek, it comes from a Comic Strip series I collaborated on with an artist during my Peak Oil days. As I said in a comment in an earlier thread, some people are funny, others are not. You don’t stop being funny just because the world is ending. LOL.

    I will have more to say with respect to some of the comments here so far later. One of my comments here still hasn’t appeared. I may wait until we migrate NBL over the weekend to do more extensive commentary. Waiting around hours for comments that appear sometimes and other times don’t is very annoying.


  • Thanks, Guy, for pimping the SUN Project. It’s a real worthy effort, and I’ve been watching it hatch for a year. Yeah, it’s another bunch of wackos wanting to build a beautiful sustainable eco-village. You got to ask yourself, do we really need more of those?

  • (edit) – I just realized what I wrote in my post is open to confusion due to a double negative. I wrote: “I have no doubt that if Guy believed he could stop climate change by not flying, HE WOULDN’T DO SO.”

    I didn’t mean he wouldn’t ‘not fly’, but rather that he wouldn’t fly if he thought it’d make a difference.

    Carry on.

  • Tonight’s interview with Abby Martin for RT’s “Breaking the Set” is embedded below

  • And we go from what should be the greatest, most alarming headline in the news… “Near Term Human Extinction Between 2030 and 2050”.. to Roseanne. Really? WTF?!?! Of course! As they so often say, “Move along… nothing to see.” Guy, you were great! As we all know, some people will “listen” but not all will “comprehend.” I can only hope you planted the seed in this young woman’s mind. I won’t hold my breath…..

    West St. Paul, MN

  • That is a typical theme today: “We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing…if….”
    What else might we do? Buy guns and dig holes? Store food in a hole? Cry in a hole? Or, we could just continue doing what we were doing.

    There are only ifs.
    The truth is just too much for most.

  • Thanks to all who commented on this “newbies” first comment! I think I will roam around a little longer to get a better feel for the premise of this site, which seems well thought out and articulated. I do need to repair my minds’ theatre’s marquee as a line drive foul seems to have damaged some neon.

  • Once upon a time, a stitch in time was able to save nine. In the end the last weak head rolls its eyes up to the sky to see the last cloud that a human being will ever see. A dark cloud that fills the entire sky. The last exhalation. The last human heart beat. The date of the last human thought has already been written. Our calendars have a number for the day. It has been stored in databases and displayed on computer screens, it has been printed. You have probably seen the date, while looking at a calendar… perhaps doing some strategic planning, without knowing what you were looking at. It’s there, though, right there, in ink. The days after have been designated too, although no human will actually be alive on those days. Those later days are pure abstractions. Projections. Imaginary numbers. They are very important aspects of financial calculations. The whole economy would fall apart without them.

  • “NTE ribbons”… lol
    Grant, you crack me up.

  • From the Slogger John Ward’s Department of More Bad Newz:

    “Veteran human rights lawyer Charles Bonner (left) has practiced law for 27 years, so by now he’s pretty good at it. Mr Bonner has been the lead attorney in over sixty-five jury trials involving civil rights cases, police misconduct, child protection and a myriad other attempts to protect the vulnerable poor from the mendacious rich. Now he is leading a class action lawsuit against TEPCO, the regulator/owner of the Fukushima nuclear energy plant.

    He’s unlikely to lose it, because he represents 75 sailors who came down with a host of medical problems, including cancers and leukemias, all kinds of gynaecological problems, and tumors on the brain. These service men and women are mainly young people in their early to mid twenties, and no one in their family had ever any of these kinds of illnesses before. Just since Bonner took the case, another 21 sailors have begun to show the same dire symptoms….of radiation sickness.

    Their common link? They were all serving on board USS Ronald Reagan during a brief visit to the waters around Fukushima three years ago. As the Ronald Reagan desalinates all its water from the sea for drinking, bathing and other cleaning purposes, all the sailors were multiply exposed to radiation from the Fukushima accident. Calmed by the bollocks being put out about how “harmless” the radiation leakage was, these 75 service men and women now face death.

    I’ve just been to eighteen internet sites. I have verified who Bonner is, checked the case credentials (“Cooper et al v. Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. et. al. case number 3:2013cv00773, filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California”) – and confirmed the case’s existence with Bonner’s law firm. This is not left-of-centre urban myth: this is the best indication so far, in my view, of just how serious the Fukushima disaster is going to be.

    But not a single mainstream medium I can find within the US, UK or European mainstream has gone near it….”

  • logspirit, re seeing the calendar but not recognizing the date… your writing is beautiful. I’ve often thought, aging, of how there are always days when we do something for the last time, but we’re hardly ever aware of them: the Last Time you went to a discotheque, the Last Time you listened to an LP disc, the Last Time you drew a paycheck, or rode a horse, attended church, or made love. We’re more likely to remember the firsts than the “lasts”.

    Recently, my mom used a flush toilet for the last time in her life, because she can no longer navigate the 25 feet from her bedroom to the bathroom. She’ll never wear any of the clothes in her closet again, nor her coats nor her shoes, though this is not something foremost in our minds at this point. She’ll never handle cash again, or write a check. She can read, but she’ll never again read a book. Who knows what the title was, of that last one she read… Was she aware of the Last Time she drove a car, or went food shopping? It wasn’t much more than a year ago.

  • @Pilot

    Did you actually listen to Roseanne’s interview?

  • “Your model, though admirable and certain (like space exploration) to inform us all, is not for everyone. I offer a more average-person scenario as well: Staying put in the existing built environment. (The path of least resistance and change might be the most feasible.” AL

    You can’t be all things to all people of course, but there are a lot of nuances here you folks really are not aware of.

    We’re not Pie-Eyed Greenies without a clue on social dislocation, Goobermint power plays or fantasies that any kind of transition can be made without a whole heck of a lot of difficulties, some you can forsee, others you cannot.

    We also have affiliates working on their own in all sorts of different ways with different memes here. WHD for example is inside Minneapolis doing Off the Grid Urban gardening. Eddie who posted above is working out 12V electric systems for his own Doomstead. Peter the Hydroponics Wizard grows 80% of his food and 100% of his vegetables either inside his house or in a medium size Greenhouse he shares with a few others in the VERY isolated location of the Fjords of BC.

    I look at all of these projects as Bridging Solutions, and as a Group we learn from each other and build community. Eventually we will bring all of this together, in yet another stage of bridging.

    In my next article, I will explain a bit more about how Attitude affects what you do and how you approach this problem, whether in the end it leads to extinction or not. I’m not going to point by point answer the Negative posting made here in this thread so far, because it all reflects a certain mindset that I cover in detail in the upcoming article.

    In answer to Eddie’s Query as to whether we really need a bunch of idiosyncratic geeks and philosophers pursuing a transition solution, my answer is yes we do, because not everyone can succeed for any number of reasons, so you need a lot of people trying. Besides that, if anybody can do this, we can. We are CAN DO, CAN FIX people. Wait till you see the New NBL. Maybe that will make you a Believer. :)


  • Lidia, your mother is lucky to have such a mindful presence by her side.

    @ how the masses behave.

    I wonder about the relationship between each person-as-individual and each person as part of the masses. I guess both definitions can coexist…

    The masses can’t possibly get on board with climate change.

    – As had been pointed out on NBL, there is a bias toward non acceptance of forthcoming disaster.

    – Climate collapse is happening at a speed which climate-aware people can scarcely believe. But to non aware people, it is happening way too slowly to believe. The sky is blue. The rain falls. The sun shines.

    – The masses are far more attuned to economic collapse than to any other form of collapse.

    – The masses cannot grasp linear, secular, scientific explanations of climate change. Those just sound like empty words. The sky is blue. The rain falls. The sun shines. They work for a paycheck. That’s all they see.

    – The masses care about the safety and wellbeing of their families, whose suffering they are unable to coherently link to TPTB.

    – The masses, though generally susceptible to religious ideas, and understanding reality emotionally, are culturally and educationally sense based. The left brain is atrophied, the right brain is used and needed to function in a sense based world.

    – Art and religion, if their purveyors were the least bit aware, would have a better chance of reaching the masses than formal, verbal explanations.

    – At the level of constriction experienced by the masses, misinformation and confusion campaigns are overwhelmingly effective.

    Off the opinion soapbox.

  • If Abby “appears” to accept Guy’s position, she could soon find herself living in a mud hut. She knows this and thus must consider the tolerance of her audience. Seeing that Roseanne also mentioned extinction, maybe Abby is the one planting the seeds. Also, she criticizes the Daily Show for not digging out the truth. Then we see Guy and Roseanne who ARE digging out the truth.

    Seeds need time to sprout as well as the correct conditions. Otherwise, they die making the effort to live.

  • Yeah, Roseanne Barr !

    I posted a comment that did not appear..

    Try again..

    A good message for Americans (and British)

    You are the cultural conqueror. You wield the biggest guns. Somewhere in your home there is button which could erase civilization. And then you come to this place and find yourself disarmed. You see that it has its own culture, its own ages and venerable traditions, that the people do not tremble before you. And then you understand that there is not just intelligent life in outer space, but life so graceful that it shames you into silence.

    Hi Lidia ! Why aren’t you dead ? ;-)


    Much still lingering snow here. I presently feel quite fatigued. My bones ache. Detroit currently shows a supposed Level I radiation background reading of only 195. But, that is only because in the recent past it has sometimes soared to nearly a 340 or more reading. And, according to a very interesting 1961 US Government Civil Defense Air Raid Shelter publication that someone at the ENEnews site has recently unearthed, anything above a but 100 radiation count reading used to be regarded as likely being indicative of a quite heavily radioactive level of fallout contamination, And, it was furthermore advised in that publication that such an area should also be immediately be evacuated by all persons. Yet, never in recent months, via my monitoring of the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center (NETC) site, have I ever seen the government’s own radiation detector located in nearby downtown Detroit indicate anything less than at least a 165 reading. So, nowadays even on supposedly safe days the inhabitants of this region are still nonetheless probably being exposed to what had formerly been officially regarded as quite huge amounts of background radiation. And, on those days like today when the whole area should also be covered by the mists of much currently melting radioactive snow, some of us must really be getting bombarded quite hard.

    Also, I would like to note that I just got back from a quick visit to my local produce market. But, all I could bring myself to buy there today was but 4 pounds of carrots as any the other West Coast produced fruits, nuts, leafy, or other above ground grown vegetables, seemed to have had to prudently be presently dismissed as likely being contaminated with too much radiation.

    At this same time I would like to report that my dad, who also happens to listen or watch a whole lot of mainstream radio and television and news programs, still appears to be completely unaware that there might be any problem at all with the seafood currently being taken from the Pacific Ocean. When, just in passing, I had recently said that China (of all places) had just banned the importation of US West-coast seafood products, he immediately indicated that he apparently could not imagine why that should have happened. And, I knew then that I should immediately drop the subject least he take possible offense of the information I had and call me depressing again. He’s now 84 years old and I know how he still loves going on his outdoor daily walks in the park. And, most especially when he might also witness a good sunset in all of its usually apparent glory. So, I’ve simply given up trying to inform him about anything that might also serve to unnecessarily worry him so that he might instead be allowed to live out the rest of his probably very few remaining days as if there was nothing really wrong with our current day world. So, of course the whole business of those currently very high radiation readings does constantly tend to impact my whole life on many levels.

    In other possibly nuclear related news, I fear that my dearly beloved cat, Granny – who nowadays seems to increasingly suffer from coughing or wheezing spells – might have already be mortally damaged by some long ago ingested speck of radiation. Granny must have surely been conceived inside the body of her strictly outdoors living feral mother at about the very same 3/11/11 date of Fukushima nuclear-plant melt-downs. Thus, she would have been but a growing embryo and still in gestation during that roughly same three month period when the resulting nuclear fall-out had probably been at its very worst around here. Granny was still nonetheless then caused to be born amidst some overgrown shrubbery in the backyard of my former Dearborn home around the 1st of July of that same year. Then, she and the rest of her litter of five had to continue living outdoors until they could finally be weaned from their unfortunately completely undomesticated mother.

    But, I sure have since come to very much love that little cat. It seems that me and her must have immediately started bonding together on probably the very same day that she was born, as her mother had foolishly decided to give birth to her otherwise completely helpless litter directly beneath the then probably also very highly radioactive location of a rain-water down spout gutter on the side of my house. So, that whole family of very tiny hardly walnut-sized kittens had to be very carefully moved by me to a much safer place (which after several days of very trying negotiations with her none too pleased mother, turned out to be the inside my then partially left opened backyard shed) – least they all be immediately be drowned by a subsequently occurring thundershower or be otherwise crushed by some very large sized chunks of falling hail.

    Since then I know of at least six or more different occasions when I had to take very direct and immediate action so as to possibly save the life of that formerly very wayward kitten. And, with her also being the obvious runt of that litter, I would imagine that it was probably nearly 100% certain that neither she (or maybe even most of her other sibling) might have ever lived to be even two-weeks old without my then constant intervention in their lives. Well, it turned out that it was actually very much worth all of my former efforts to protect her (and her four subsequently adopted siblings) from possible predictors and to ensure that she remained well-fed because that particular kitten has subsequently turned out to be a very sweet and affectionate companion to me. She amazingly always seems to be very pleased to presently be alive and living with me and my other pets. And, every single day I find myself feeling grateful for her company which so helps to brighten what would probably otherwise seem some very much darker times here. So, of course it tends to very much bother me whenever I should hear her being so severely racked by unfortunately ever more increasingly prolonged coughing fits, which I can probably really do nothing about even if I could presently afford to take her to the vets.

    Because how can I be presently moved to try to save her (or any of my other dearly beloved pets) when I already so clearly know that it should really do no good for any of them to subsequently survive me after the surely soon to be coming onset of the dark times ahead? There isn’t a day that anymore passes when I’m not also about a thousand times reminded that I shall probably soon be inevitably caused to have to mercifully put down each of my pets rather than hoping to instead wait to the very last possible moment when perhaps, because of my own increasing failing health (due to complications related to Parkinson’s Disease), I may no longer be able to exercise much control over such things? So, whenever I am next caused to finally take any of my animals to the vet I fear that it will probably only be so I can as humanely as possible have them subsequently put to sleep. And, there probably isn’t anything having to do with the whole rest of my likely remaining life that I could possibly be more currently dreading than that!

    So, yes, it does seem such a damned shame that I should presently be so constantly caused to think about death and dying whilst at the same time there are all those holiday songs being endlessly played in the shopping malls which announce that this is supposed to be the very most joyous times of the whole year. Hasn’t the rest of humanity as yet caught up to the very latest background radiation reports and what they must inevitably come to mean to quite everything that we might presently hold dear here? Or, am I really the only one amidst these parts that presently tends to look at things in that way? Thus, now that I have revealed myself to probably be just as sorry as anyone can possibly be in respect to the most likely sorry future scenario of our present day world, is there really anything else that I can additionally add that might also subsequently serve to cheer everybody up?

    How about this? Seasons Greetings to one and all of my fellow doomers at Nature Bats Last! And, indeed, just like that old song suggests, why can’t we all just go on partying like it was still only 1999? When, everybody who was anybody seemingly had nothing but an extremely bright future still ahead of them? And, when probably no one had as yet even dreamed that they should at some point in the near future find it necessary to first consult the country’s very latest background radiation reports on the web quite before they should even dare to make any definite plans for that day? Might all those former seemingly very carefree days have really been only such a short while ago? Yet, in my own case it would now sometimes seem like its already been whole ages ago since I might have last felt truly joyous or had any occasion to really heartily laugh about anything amidst this world. How about you?

  • @Neal H – My baseball analogy was pretty harsh. Uncalled for really. I admire your good humor in fielding it. Stick around, not everything on this site is as grim as I portrayed it. There is hope, no hope, and everything in between. We are all trying to get our heads and hearts around some increasingly bad news…

    @log spirit – You have caught the sadness, futility, agonizing nostalgia for what will never be – pure prose poetry, beautiful.
    Now turn you mind and soul to bless every precious moment that remains. And even embrace the truth that every story has an end, and that is as it should be, as it bestows a final good night to this vast epic of a fragile, fractured adventure of higher intelligence on Earth….

    @Lidia – It inspires me that you can see these things, feel these things, and still share them with us. Thank you.

    @Artleads – Thanks for your insightful thoughts on the masses. We need them on board for this trip. The slim hope is that some charismatic leader with a message that moves their emotional center will put forth a movement that contains the essences of sanity we are all dying from the lack of. A long shot to be sure, but maybe our last and only shot.

    @Mister Belle Islander – Thanks for sharing how it is for you. I have a long history with cats myself. They have often played a more important role in my life than people! Having companions on whom you can lavish your love, and receive back contented purrs rather than the sometimes prickly responses of our human friends and acquaintances is a precious blessing. All my cats have been rescued from unpleasant fates in an unwelcoming world. As a male I have not had the experience of lavishing loving concern on a child of my very own, so cats give me a taste of that satisfaction.

    I understand your concern about radiation and our own possible extinction. Many who find their way to this site share your concerns, and are faced with the problem of how to live with this fearsome knowledge. In a previous short post I touched on the ironic truth that those of us who have eschewed living in consoling fantasies that all is well with the world, may come to a point where we need to learn how to live our lives in a relaxed and not desperate way now, that does not deny the unpleasant truth, but manages to live somewhat normally in spite of it. It’s as if we need to bracket out the dark reality in order to enjoy our lives and be there for others. We are not then in denial, but we have found a way not to let our concerns dominate our consciousness and plunge us into depression. You could call our state a consciously chosen and cultivated pretense that things are OK after all. Sort of a split personality consciously constructed for practical and positive use.

    Let me know if this makes sense to you? Best wishes, mike k.

  • @Christy

    No. I must admit I didn’t have time and made a bad assumption. I’ll take a listen after work today. I’ve shot myself in the foot, I take it? :)

  • The Conqueror Worm
    By Edgar Allan Poe

    Lo! ’t is a gala night
    Within the lonesome latter years!
    An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
    In veils, and drowned in tears,
    Sit in a theatre, to see
    A play of hopes and fears,
    While the orchestra breathes fitfully
    The music of the spheres.

    Mimes, in the form of God on high,
    Mutter and mumble low,
    And hither and thither fly—
    Mere puppets they, who come and go
    At bidding of vast formless things
    That shift the scenery to and fro,
    Flapping from out their Condor wings
    Invisible Wo!

    That motley drama—oh, be sure
    It shall not be forgot!
    With its Phantom chased for evermore
    By a crowd that seize it not,
    Through a circle that ever returneth in
    To the self-same spot,
    And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
    And Horror the soul of the plot.

    But see, amid the mimic rout,
    A crawling shape intrude!
    A blood-red thing that writhes from out
    The scenic solitude!
    It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
    The mimes become its food,
    And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
    In human gore imbued.

    Out—out are the lights—out all!
    And, over each quivering form,
    The curtain, a funeral pall,
    Comes down with the rush of a storm,
    While the angels, all pallid and wan,
    Uprising, unveiling, affirm
    That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
    And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

  • If I was the voting type, I’d vote for Rosey.

  • MrBI: great story of your kitten/cat and I hear you on the message.
    I’ve known this was going to end badly for everyone instinctively, without having the lexicon we now have, when I was a late teen into college, and especially after that when Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb and Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring. Since then, like pat above, I’ve been waiting and watching to see how this all plays out, hoping that I and these authors (and others since) were all wrong and that we missed something that was going to allow us to keep this set of living arrangements far into the future. I didn’t want to have children, but my wife “convinced” me and I went along. It’s not that I regret it now, any more than I regret all the dogs I’ve owned only to watch them die in their time, having loved them and taken the best care of them that I could. It’s that they won’t be able to continue this process and, in fact we’re taking down the whole shebang while we’re at it.

    Now I understand RE is going to rake us over the coals of our doomerism and call us quitters and the like (when, in reality I’m doing no such thing and stay active in gardening, living life, my grandchildren, & environmental and political activity – though I don’t expect anything to come out of these last two), but i’ll hear him out and actually laughed at the acronyms for his silly syndromes above. I enjoy his views, podcasts and website and will put up with his opinion, as he does ours. I’d be ecstatic if I were wrong about all this and am looking for any way out of the predicament.

  • RE, good luck to you, man. Any plans for defense of SUN?

    Lidia, so glad to see you!

    Guy, thanks for including Roseanne in your clip. I would love to see some essays on patriarchy and entitlement someday. Had to laugh at her characterization of Hillary Inc. So true.

    MisterBelleIslander, I live on the west coast of the big mitten, and don’t have a geiger counter, so your comments were of special interest. I have a rescued kitty on my lap as I type this. We live in an insane world. To be relatively sane in the insanity is a special feeling, isn’t it?

  • @Grant – Morbid fellow that Poe. Obsessed with death and decay and lost loves…

  • “Climate collapse is happening at a speed which climate-aware people can scarcely believe. But to non aware people, it is happening way too slowly to believe. The sky is blue. The rain falls. The sun shines.” says a comment.

    Not here.

    the sky is very very rarely blue anymore, but few seem to notice.

    the rain effectively falls.

    the sun shines only through a more and more dense veil of plane induced clouds daily). from my personal observations, the last really blue sky that I saw over this city was in 2006-2007, when the saturation became obvious. Since then, the veil of plane induced clouds have been spreading, obscuring larger and larger regions of the world, and is now clearly visible in every tv program, image in magazine and publicity, youtube vid, etc. ominous, really. and in all the images,the dirty sky is always accompanied by the dying leaves and trees and plants. in all the images that are taken EVERYWHERE.

    I suppose the repetitive admonition to enjoy what’s left (enjoy what’s left?)is given by people who live in areas where there is enough left and who have the financial or other means of “enjoying”.

    talking about enjoying, enjoy your fuking holidays. it might be the last for you.

  • @Grant – Maybe this from wiki explains Poe’s dark side somewhat(?): “Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.” Unhappy guy for sure.

  • RE said

    “In answer to Eddie’s Query as to whether we really need a bunch of idiosyncratic geeks and philosophers pursuing a transition solution, my answer is yes we do, because not everyone can succeed for any number of reasons, so you need a lot of people trying. Besides that, if anybody can do this, we can. We are CAN DO, CAN FIX people. Wait till you see the New NBL. Maybe that will make you a Believer. :)”

    Sometimes my attempts at humor get lost in cyberspace. For me, it’s a rhetorical question, “do we need more wackos trying to build beautiful sustainable eco-villages?”

    Damn right we do, and as many of them as we can get. I admire your willingness to do so much work to empower people who want to do the good work.

  • Guy, you wrote;

    “Gerald Spezio, your idiocy and ignorance are profoundly sad. How many times must I point out to you Jevons’ paradox, the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, and reality? Call this once more.”

    I learned this from Stanislav Andreski. “Some of our worst mistakes do not come from poor reasoning or bad logic, They come from a faulty premise & proneness to delusion.”

    Growth economy geniuses with doctorates from the U. of Chicago still want their money to grow.

    We both disagree with the economic growth geniuses.

    Voltaire; “I disagree with what you say, but I would defend your right to say it.”

    I do not think that you are an idiot or ignorant.

    I think that you are grievously mistaken when you invoke Jevons & K-B.

    It is brain boggling that a man of your knowledge & intelligence can advocate adding massive amounts of CO2 & hastening our heat deaths – while maintaining that we simplify our lives & show our compassion with the rest of suffering humankind & the the remaining species?

    The “NEXT STEP” is new age fluff.

    Flying to Guatemala for simplicity & spirituality is humbug, sham, & outright hypocrisy.

    Khazzoom-Brookes postulate
    In 1992, economist Harry Saunders coined the term “Khazzoom-Brookes postulate” to describe the idea that energy efficiency gains paradoxically result in increases in energy use (the modern day equivalent of the Jevons paradox). He modeled energy efficiency gains using a variety of neo-classical growth models, and showed that the postulate is true over a wide range of assumptions. In the conclusion of his paper, Saunders stated that:[7]

    In the absence of efficiency gains, energy use will grow in lock step with economic growth (energy intensity will stay fixed) when energy prices are fixed. … Energy efficiency gains can increase energy consumption by two means: by making energy appear effectively cheaper than other inputs; and by increasing economic growth, which pulls up energy use. … These results, while by no means proving the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, call for prudent energy analysts and policy makers to pause a long moment before dismissing it.

  • Great article from Dahr Jamail that Guy linked to above (I’ve appreciated his writings and interviews over many years), says it all, and just in case you missed it:

    As the more enlightened political and social commentators switch over to Climate Chaos (and probably never switch back) we’ll begin to see the more aware 5% take up its “End Times” positions, in response to the IndCiv side’s digging in and burning away what little is left of our future.

    Also, Thom Hartmann has his new book “The Last Hours of Humanity: Warming the World to Extinction” for 99 cents on Amazon’s Kindle downloads. Got it and I’ll let you know if Thom pulls his punches, or lets it all out. (Go for it, Thom! I know your voice registers with a few million listeners; I’ll be interested to hear how you deal with the kind of cognitive conflicts we discuss here at NBL. So far, someone like Guy stands mostly alone in taking all the “heat” for speaking what should by now be obvious to all.)

  • I found that Abby Martin segment ironically funny. It’s right there before our eyes the dilemma that we face.

    It was nice to see Guy hold his own. I remember when Megan Quinn of Community Solutions was on CNBC years ago and boy did she come off as out of her depth.

    Guy is being Guy (straight out serious) and has nothing to offer to save Human Beings. Wants to leave something for other species to survive; only Martin isn’t interested and just can’t take it. Obviously she hasn’t been checking out the site regularly.

    Say it ain’t so she pleads. Don’t leave us depressed. Give us something to work we after all isn’t that why you and I do this work. She must have been terrified for her job and her sanity.

    Listen to the what phrase she used to describe an alternate system “Sustainable Captialism.” I’m not sure the word was sustainable, but the meaning was clear. She doesn’t get you can’t put an adjective next to capitalism and expect it to come out a different system than it is.

    I’m not expecting this appearance by Guy to make any difference in the larger scheme. I’m a skeptic after years of being an realistic optimist. I believed if we were presented with the facts we would change.

    I look forward to hearing from RE about his recommendations and discussion of tectonics. It’s nice of RE to help Guy and us out with the site; it’s a freely given gift in the spirit of Gift Economy.

    It’s kind of a catch-22 situation with RE though. He thinks “we” all are ready to respond to his positivity with our negativity. I think of myself as a realist. We have wound up exactly where I said we would if we didn’t change, yet I’m called a doomer, a dark person. I’m glad that others have seen the cult of positivity as problematic. I’m thinking of pieces by Karen Armstrong, Barbare Ehrenrich and Chris Hedges where they discuss he cult of positivity.

    It’s clear that RE and I are at least on similar pages when it comes to issues he puts fully in humans hands. I just don’t see how things can shift now and only believe about .000000001 percent of it being possible. It’s clearer to me than ever(after decades of banging my head against the wall) that humans are determined to be the root of their own destruction. I’m thinking pre-industrial Easter Island and Post-Industrial St. Matthews Island (those poor innocent deer).

  • And, thanks to Clif at Halfpasthuman for reminding me of this one:

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

    which is Brutus telling Cassius it isn’t time to rest their troops in the civil war against Octavian, but since “the enemy increaseth every day” and “We, at the height, are ready to decline” the odds are only going to get worse if they wait.

    As I recall, it didn’t turn out so well for them anyway, and the science that Guy reports on is telling us the tides we needed to sail on have probably gone out already.

  • Gerald Spezio, you’re well ahead of the masses. You’re up to the bargaining stage. Only two more steps to go!

  • “So far, someone like Guy stands mostly alone in taking all the “heat” for speaking what should by now be obvious to all.)”

    And bless him for it.

    A RE

    We’re on the same side. I can see what you do making what I advocate become more possibile. There is no contradiction. Better together than apart. Have you heard of Kent Doering? A mind boggling “reverse” engineer.

    @ Roseanne interview

    I loved it. Beautiful face. Pearls of insight.

    @ mike k

    Thanks for picking up on the subject. Yes. A kind of leader like MLK would be helpful. Maybe a woman this time. :-)

    @ melindia

    As you say, even where the sun don’t shine, it doesn’t don’t shine enough to wake somnambulists. Everything is too gradual for them. And they’d go batshit crazy if that weren’t so. People like RE use their time to make the latter eventuality less likely. It’s a sad situation, that’s for sure. Happy fuking holiday to you as well. :-)

    “Seeds need time to sprout as well as the correct conditions. Otherwise, they die making the effort to live.”

    Thanks, DMD

  • “”

    Interesting article.

  • Guy,it’s your blog, & when you publish criticism of your position about flying, it shows what kind of man you are.

    That is why I respect you, & almost everything that you say.

    I don’t know anybody that I agree with more, & that is why I am both bewildered & fascinated with your paradoxical flying behavior.

    Yes, I fully accept that we are all cooking to perdition.

    You advocate that we protect the innocent species not yet exterminated by our mad fossil fuel consumption, but you hasten the same species extinction with profligate CO2 production by flying.

    A tiny bit is still a tiny bit?

    No mud huts on modern energy intensive jet planes either.

    I have already put 3,000 TONS of CO2 into the atmospheric commons – a true commons that we share with all other living things.

    I am just one of the rich but guilty bastards, who polluted for an entire lifetime of energy consumption.

    The tools were there – from light switches to gallons of gas to motors & engines, I ran with ball.

    I just don’t want to do much more harm as I live my life as if I am in hospice.

    I learned the hospice strategy from you.

  • @Gerald Spezio

    The comments you are leaving have me in stitches. Guy seems able to hold his own with you.

    Do you think Guy is being hypocritical? Could/would you elaborate as to why if you think this or could you elaborate on what issues you are having with Guy?

    Your point eludes me. Help me out here, seriously, I want to understand (doesn’t mean I’ll agree with you). Guy has done more than most (and speaking from experience he’s been able to appear less damaged than I’ve become due to my efforts).

    There are others who could make the remainder of our time on the planet a much more humane and species friendly place and just sitting around rationalizing that we could change things, but don’t really understand we’re further down the road than they thought.

    It’s the mind set of denial along the lines that Tony displays on this site. It’s all about making sure the Tipping Points don’t occur. If you wait too long and they take effect it’s too late. If you do something before they occur and they don’t occur you open yourself up to the ridicule of those who insist that what you did had nothing to do with the outcome. It’s just the “joy” of the human thinking process. Someone is liable to come along and state the opposite of what someone else has stated and is able to make it sound better and go down like sugar.

    I also enjoyed the segment with Rosanne. Not someone I’d pick to lead a movement (would she be on at all if she hadn’t been a hit on TV all those years ago for all those years; the “blessings” of celebrity).

    What she had to say about the role women have in raising men in a patriarchal society was one I’ve tried to discuss for years, but it’s like a mind field when I (a man) raised the point. What if everyone stayed home from the war?

    My being a gentle, sensitive, compassionate, cooperative male seemed only okay for a miniscule moment in the last 50 years. For the most part it’s seems that the men who are aggressive, competitive and insensitive are the leaders we desire.

    Oddly enough (and sorry Logspirit) as a person whose raised chickens and slaughtered them (as well as ducks and geese) by hand know the emotional sacrifice of taking an animals life in order to feed. It’s not something I could do in the mass that our current model and consumers demand. Each time I do the act is a great strain on me. I’m never sure I can eat the animal afterwards, but at some point the being becomes a carcass and I’ve butchered, dressed and cooked it.

    If I’m going to eat it then I’d rather be part of the process as I’m assured I’ll never take more than I need (I can’t assume this applies to everyone doing this.)

    My second and last post for the day per our two post a day working agreement.


    Conservative groups spend $1 billion a year to fight action on climate change – ‘It is not just a couple of rogue individuals doing this. This is a large-scale political effort.’

    ( – Conservative groups have spent $1bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change, according to the first extensive study into the anatomy of the anti-climate effort.

    The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change. Such financial support has hardened conservative opposition to climate policy, ultimately dooming any chances of action from Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, the study found.

    “I call it the climate-change counter movement,” said the author of the study, Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle. “It is not just a couple of rogue individuals doing this. This is a large-scale political effort.”

    Brulle’s study, published on Friday in the journal Climatic Change, offers the most definitive exposure to date of the political and financial forces blocking American action on climate change. But as he acknowledged, there are still big gaps. […]

    “This is how wealthy individuals or corporations translate their economic power into political and cultural power,” he said. “They have their profits and they hire people to write books that say climate change is not real. They hear people to go on TV and say climate change is not real. It ends up that people without economic power don’t have the same size voice as the people who have economic power, and so it ends up distorting democracy.

    “That is the bottom line here. These are unaccountable organisations deciding what our politics should be. They put their thumbs on the scale … It is more one dollar one vote than one person one vote.”

    (read it)

  • Thought things might get interesting on RC

    We have M. Tobis rubbishing Guy

    His position is entirely baseless, starting from the bogus methane “bomb” scenario..

    But all that Tobis has, as far as I can tell, is PhD Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences U Wis Madison 1996.

    Which, if you rate these things, doesn’t even come anywhere close to Prof. Peter Wadhams credentials, and HE is deadly serious about ‘the methane bomb scenario’…

    So I think the ‘entirely baseless’ leads me to view Tobis as an opinionated amateur.

  • Finally had time to continue and watch the interview with Roseanne. I’ve learned my lesson…. won’t post comments until I FINISH listening to the whole story. Sorry, all (foot in mouth).


  • There’s a nice review of this year’s climate over on Desdemona Despair.

    Climate Week – An Ice Free Arctic?

    Dr. Peter Wadhams, Polar Oceans Physics Group at Cambridge University joins Thom Hartmann

    [In this video at the 10 minute mark (of 11.5), Wadhams says U.S. food production is down about 50% due to climate change and extreme weather.]

  • “Civilizations are trapped in a vicious circle. They must keep solving the problems of complexity, for that is the sine qua non of civilized existence; but every solution creates new, ever more difficult problems, which then require new, ever more demanding solutions.

    Thus complexity breeds more of the same, and each increase in complexity makes it harder to cope, while at the same time escalating the penalty for failure. Breakdown becomes unavoidable in the long run. In effect, civilizations enact a tragedy in which their raison d’être – the use of energy to foster the complexity that raises them above the hunter-gatherer level of subsistence – becomes the agent of their ultimate downfall.

    What is to stop us from reforming our mighty civilization so that it does not enact this tragedy?
    Unfortunately, beyond a certain point, growth leads to a fundamental, qualitative change in the nature of systems. Specifically, it leads to what scientists call “chaos,” meaning a system is characterized by so many feedback loops operating in a nonlinear fashion that its behavior becomes more and more impenetrable and unpredictable and therefore less and less manageable, because neither the timing nor the severity of specific events is foreseeable.”

    By William Ophuls

    Paul Piff: Does money make you mean?
    FILMED OCT 2013 • POSTED DEC 2013 • TEDxMarin

  • “Efficiency, Connectivity Erode Resilience

    Societies struggling with the dilemmas of complexity are vulnerable from two directions. First, systems that are too tightly coupled or too efficient are fragile; they lack resilience. Thus they risk being being toppled by a cascade of failure. That is how region-wide electrical outages propagate. The failure of one sector brings down another and another until the grid itself fails, and once down it takes heroic effort to get it up and running again.

    Second, they are exposed to simultaneous failure. When formerly separate problems coalesce into a problematique, a nexus of interlocking problems, the society does not face one or two discrete challenges, as in simpler times, but instead a swarm of simultaneous challenges that can overwhelm its capacity to respond, thereby provoking a general collapse.

    Take climate change as a current example. To address this overall problem will require us to surmount a host of challenges in many different sectors (e.g., agriculture, forestry, public health, energy production, infrastructure and so on) not only in one country or economy but in every country-to varying degrees.

    Can Civilization Be Reformed?

    Dire implications follow directly from seeing civilizations as chaotic in the scientific sense. Complex adaptive systems are stable until they are overstressed. Then one perturbation too many, or one that arrives at the wrong moment, can tip the system into instability virtually overnight, with unpredictable and frequently distressing consequences.

    The second implication is even more distressing to contemplate: there may be no way to reform an advanced civilization. Complex adaptive systems operate according to their own inner dynamic, which can only be imperfectly understood by the human mind or influenced by human conduct.

    Once a civilization is plagued by numerous intractable problems, most attempts at reform will therefore either fail or make matters worse. Indeed, ironically, it may be the very effort to reform that precipitates a collapse. It was perestroika and glasnost that precipitated the implosion of the USSR. Similarly, it was Louis XVI’s convening of the Estates-General that triggered the revolution and regicide that liquidated the ancien régime.

    As these examples suggest, planning to avoid breakdown or to make a gradual and controlled transition from one stable state to another may be next to impossible. In effect, chaos sets at naught the human pretension to mastery of the historical process.

    That does not mean that planning or reform are useless. However, it does mean that our overdeveloped industrial civilization seems unlikely to achieve a gentle, painless and orderly transition to a state in which humanity peacefully coexists with nature.”

    By William Ophuls

  • “wildwoman Says:
    December 20th, 2013 at 8:26 am

    RE, good luck to you, man. Any plans for defense of SUN?”

    Oh, absolutely WW. In fact, one of the primary reasons behind the development of the ideas comes from the two main Security issues, from Da Goobermint on one side and Zombies on the other.

    Independent Doomsteading is generally too dangerous once TSHTF in earnest. You are too vulnerable when isolated and semi-remote. Any decent size Gang, once they are aware of your location can arrive there on bicycles and overwhelm you in a Home Invasion.

    You also are powerless against the local Sheriff-turned-Warlord and his band of Deputies extorting “taxes” from you, which would come in the form of Food you produce of course.

    This basically is a problem of insufficient Numbers to Protect & Defend. In nature, this is why Herds form up against Predators.

    There is still debate on SUN as to what the ideal Tribal size is. Quite a few folks think it should be kept to Dunbar’s Number, which is considered the maximum number of people you can know well. I personally favor a larger size of around 1000.

    So, one of the goals and reasons for creating the SUN website was to find that many people of like mind to organize up such a “post-Industrial Tribe” as LD likes to put it.

    We have a start, but we still have a ways to go and plenty of room!


  • @ Lidia
    Apologies for a late reply… and many thanks for taking my post to the next level. You added a sensitive touch that completed the picture. The missing bookend of a set. Well done! Good to see you back in this forum. I hope you are feeling better.

    @ mike k
    I’m late getting back to you as well. Just been trying to catch up with the Red Queen (Alice in Wonderland). Thank you for your kind words. Yes, the last remaining moments… May they be as painless as possible for all of humanity. But, as you know, for many life has been uncomfortable, and it is rapidly becoming uncomfortable for many who thought they were perfectly immune. Soon life won’t be comfortable for anyone. That will be the real test of how well an intentional perspective can be applied. The Buddha mentioned, somewhere in the cannon, that before putting time and effort into meditating… attend to essential needs, such as food and shelter. We can say its wisdom and discernment, or plain old common sense. May as many human beings as possible remain blessed with comforts a little longer, so they can bless and enjoy their last moments. Unfortunately, human extinction won’t be a spectator sport. Eh, pass on that, the beer would probably cost over 20 bucks a cup, and the hot dogs would probably be real dog.

    @ PMB
    Late for you too… Thanks for the sensitivity to my vegan perspective… please keep in mind though, that I’m not the one who is directly suffering from consuming the flesh. The ‘strain’ may be due to a lot more than the psychology… eating chicken, no matter how it is raised, has many harmful health impacts. Perhaps you are tuning into some of your body’s subconscious reactions. Please see: While many of the references are to the pitfalls of factory farming of chicken, the basic physiological aspects apply across the board. Health depends on being informed… and having the emotional and mental fortitude to break bad habits, no matter how deeply entrained they are. I know that you are intelligent and open minded – so I won’t worry about offending you, about raising guilt and anger, with this comment. I know that you have the internal strength and maturity to view it objectively and benefit from it. The ability to personally accept the challenge to old erroneous ideas when new scientific evidence comes along is the mark of a being who is advanced on the path of enlightenment. Unfortunately many hold back in the familiar territory of denial and falsehoods and seek the reassurance of massively misinformed popular culture. It isn’t easy to step out of the maddening crowd, driven, like livestock, by profitable, sexy persuasion. By the way, animal fat clogs up ALL the arteries of the body… Think about it. Flesh ain’t sexy.

  • Third try with this comment post-migration.

    NBL ate this one post-migration.

    Thank you muchly, Reverse Engineer et al. for the migration to a new server. Or as they say in Chinese, moocho grassy ass.

    Efficiency, Connectivity Erode Resilience

    systems that are too tightly coupled or too efficient are fragile;

    Connectivity promotes resilience when it establishes a wide network of alternatives and avoids critical dependence on just one source.

    Resilience depends on connectivity and non-specialisation. For an animal, it would mean the non-dependence on any other single species of plant or animal for food, and the ability to survive in a wide variety of environments. The exemplar is Homo sapiens.

    Resilience and efficiency are antithetical to each other. There is a constant trend to achieve re-optimisation between the two in nature and self-regulating systems. The genetic and biochemical machinery for resistance to an antibiotic imposes a metabolic cost on a bacterium. In the presence of the antibiotic, this resiliency is adaptive in spite of the decrease in efficiency. In the absence of the antibiotic, the decrease in efficiency becomes maladaptive.

    When a system parameter continues unchanged for long enough, changes towards efficiency in that parameter can become irrevocable.

    a gradual and controlled transition from one stable state to another may be next to impossible.

    Amphibians retain gills and/of cutaneous respiration, because they make use if it at some or all parts of their life cycle. It is inefficient to have both gills and lungs, and in venturing far enough inland the reptiles permanently dropped the gills, and to better defend against the terrestrial environment, thickened their skin and developed scales, shutting out cutaneous respiration. It is now impossible for the reptilian clade (extant reptiles + the other descendants from archaic reptiles, viz. mammals and birds) to revert. This is true even when they revert to an aquatic existence, as in turtles, sea snakes, whales, dolphins and aquatic birds.

    With phony money and its derivatives around the world in the neighbourhood of a quadrillion dollars, with their claims to resources and products orders of magnitude beyond what is physically available, there can be no retracing the steps. With generations of human lab rats bred to live on their “entitlements” with their behaviour programmed to “earn” and “expect” those entitlements, there is no going back. This is especially true in those countries where most or all of the population has ceded community to hierarchical society, made easier where there is ethnic homogeneity.

    The alternative to going back is going forwards – and over the cliff.

    With the Fat Ladies – Feedback Loops of the Climate Choir, any going back will not be possible in any timeframes relevant to humanity.

    I personally favor a larger size of around 1000

    The nation can be any size, but the tribes should be substantially smaller than Dunbar’s number, to allow for overlapping cohesive connectivity between the tribes: a system would have be set up to coordinate the actions of the various tribes. To leave these things to chance is to allow room for the inevitable psychopathic weeds to network in ways that configure a hierarchy. Unless, of course, a hierarchy is to be a feature of the post-industrial nation.

    And the raison d’être for the new post-industrial nation should be clear to all members from the outset: Last Group Standing? Commiseration Community & Hospice? Post-Bottleneck New World Order? How the objective is framed will make a difference in how the group actions are directed. Failure to define the objective(s) will allow a lot of effort to be wasted working at cross-purposes.

  • Actually, you ended up getting repeated here in several attempts RD. I will delete the repetitions after I finish responding here.

    “The nation can be any size, but the tribes should be substantially smaller than Dunbar’s number, to allow for overlapping cohesive connectivity between the tribes: a system would have be set up to coordinate the actions of the various tribes. To leave these things to chance is to allow room for the inevitable psychopathic weeds to network in ways that configure a hierarchy. Unless, of course, a hierarchy is to be a feature of the post-industrial nation.”

    Dunbar’s Number is 150. To me, this is too small a size to be able to reasonably Protect & Defend in a Post-Industrial collapse meme. The typical Gang can organize up spontaneously with 100-200 members. You need to be able to outperform the typical Gang in Numbers.

    Reducing Hierarichical elements in a larger group is a challenge we discuss often amongst the Heliopaths. None of us are fond of this type of organization. In a community of 1000-10,000 Human Souls, some hierarchy is probably necessary, but my math tells me this can be done though a system of Elder Leadership, where the Leaders have direct connection by Blood to those they are responsible for. It is an earned trust over time. In a post industrial society, the number of +50 year olds who have earned the trust of the Tribe and who also are still ambulent would be remarkably small, I estimate no more than 20-30 in a Tribe of 1000. The Tribe members are their Children and Grandchildren. They will use all they know and all they have learned to look out for the best interests of their heirs.

    This to me is the Council of Elders. It is my own view, not something agreed on by any means by everyone in the SUN Project. I believe you can achieve fair governance with such a system though.


  • A thousand people would be a nation. Any individual would personally and closely know about 150. The remaining 850 would be superficial acquaintances. The nation should be organised into tribes of less than 150 so that each individual in the tribe can know many from outside the tribe, so that there will be cohesiveness across tribes in the nation. A group of 1000 individuals without such overlapping zones of interaction will risk fracturing along lines of low or no overlap, and/or the development of hierarchies.

    The organisation of a tribe along bloodlines will exclude plenty of folks from the founding cohort. And it will take several generations to establish cohesion such affinities. In the meantime if TSHTF, the external forces may severely stress the group.

    And without a clearly enunciated objective, the group will neither have cohesion nor purpose in the long term.

  • @RE – I have for long been a fan of utopian efforts, and have taken part in some. I look forward to your ideas about the Sun Project. The shadow that tracks all such efforts is the inner desires, fears, beliefs, egos of the participants. And how does a group manage all of that? Will you end up building the Tower of Babel, only on a smaller scale? Will the inner baggage and assumptions each bring to the game once more spell its collapse?

    I look forward to your ideas about community. I think this is an important experiment to envision and enact. Only in this way do we have a chance for continuing to live on Earth. Our failure to learn how to live together in peace and mutual care is the root of our present crisis. That real historic failure is why we are looking at the overwhelming likelihood of NTE.

  • With thanks for your patience regarding the migration, I’ve posted a new essay. Courtesy of Carolyn Baker, it’s here.

  • The comment I just posted did not publish.

  • Yuppies, narcissism, & runaway global heating …

  • Yabut, we could drink together on the plane, Baby.

  • Thanks to RE and the Migration Cavalry.
    You have done a remarkable job.

  • December 21st, 2013 at 12:52 pm
    Christy said:

    I think I understand Gerald Spezio’s indignation. I know a guy who lived a long time in the local community here, a guy with a trust fund, living the privileged version of a hippie lifestyle. Had a BAMBOO bumper sticker on his big truck, lived off grid in a commune on a farm, is a skilled carpenter and knows how to build stuff. When he got married and had a daughter he went to Indonesia and bought a kit for a big house made of beautiful, durable wood. It is the perfect material for our sub-tropical climate, mold and bug proof, long lasting. Wood that comes from the most rapidly decimated rainforest on the planet. Orangutans, and certainly other creatures, the trees among them, are going extinct in this region. This disgusted me so much I wanted to spit in his face. I asked him, calmly, with genuine interest, why, knowing fully the situation of the destruction of nature where his house was being shipped from, WHY would he buy that wood? And he said, because if I don’t do it, somebody else will. That was 7 years ago and I have not spoken more than 10 absolutely necessary words to him since. His wife has since left him, and neither of them are even living in the house — or in the country for that matter — anymore. They rent it for a good sum.

    Just because other people are going to do stupid, harmful things, that doesn’t mean we ought to be doing them since they are going to get done anyway, so why not benefit ourselves. I am not saying that is what Guy is doing, but that perspective might be part of Gerald’s rancor.

    When I sorted through all of the repercussions of NTE in my own life, I actually finally settled down here in Hawaii after 15 years, and decided that because of the community I have built here, I am making my stand here. I realized that what we have left is each other, while we have each other. To minimize my own pain in all of this I will live as simply as I can, helping to prepare by growing food with permaculture to mitigate suffering if possible. I will do this without disrupting the routine of my family too much, since they prefer not to think much about it all and carry on, and I am not going to push their reality threshold any further at this time. I realized that I really need them, I need to love and be loved. But that’s me. And you are each you.

    Guy, and I am not speaking on his behalf, but speculating, has his own history, his own situation, and his own kuleana (responsibility) which none of us can fully grok because we are not him and don’t know all the details of his life. We know and appreciate that he spreading a message, the one that brings us all together on this community forum. Someone invites him somewhere to share his message, and it is his decision if he goes. Maybe he needs to pay the bills. Maybe he needs to be appreciated and supported. Maybe he wants to create and be a part of a community of people to work together with. Maybe he needs to do ayahuasca with a certain shaman in the jungle there. Maybe he needs time away from the mud hut and the US to think and be re-inspired. Maybe he is considering moving there. Who knows exactly what is going on? I know I certainly don’t.

    All things considered, there is no saintly way for most of us to do this. I drive my car, I buy stuff from afar, etc., knowing I am contributing to the pollution and the wars and the climate chaos and species extinction, don’t you? I drive to my workplace, to help people and to make money, and I drive to connect with people and to help my kids. I take care of my kuleana in this world in the best ways I can figure it out, don’t you? I think that is basically what Guy is doing too. You can say it is a matter of quantities. But it is all part of the same soup.

    Hope this helps.

  • “A thousand people would be a nation. Any individual would personally and closely know about 150. The remaining 850 would be superficial acquaintances. “-RD

    Under the modern use of the word, I don’t think 1000 people qualifies as a “Nation”. 1000 people barely makes a small town, much less a nation.

    However, if you wish to distiguish it from “tribe”, Neal Stephenson’s “Phyle” term might work better for the larger size grouping.

    I don’t think everybody has to know each other personally, you all just need to be following a similar set of community rules. I just finished doing a Collapse Cafe with Albert Bates from The Farm, where we discussed in the second half of the vidcast how many people the Farm began with, how many it peaked at and so forth.

    Here ya go, I am actually dropping it on here before I get it up on the Diner.


  • @ RE

    Thanks for that interesting discussion with Albert Bates, RE.

    I gather Vinay Gupta spent some time at The Farm, which is where he designed his Hexayurt, which is an advance upon Buckminster Fuller’s original geodesic dome, in a number of respects.

  • PMB,

    The only thing I’m in “denial” of is that near term human extinction is a certainty. Please don’t misrepresent me.


    Could you point to where the IEA say that temperatuares never experienced by humans will occur by 2035? The only thing I’ve found so far that mentions 2035 and 2 degrees is this article which doesn’t mention that 2 degrees will happen by 2035, only that national commitments will be off track by 13.7 billion tons of CO2, by 2035, if they want to limit warming to 2 degrees.


  • @ RE

    Enjoyed your interview with A Bates. He’s a wise and knowledgeable fellow. He’s also very honest, not overplaying Cuba’s food self-sufficiency (as I’ve seen done elsewhere), for example. I’d agree that Cuba might well be the best model for the future that’s available. I loved your points on reviving sail, reducing scale, human scale in transportation. So much can be done with ritualized human tasks…

    It struck me as maybe feasible to create pedal power generators to effect hydroponics indoors in Cuba (and elsewhere). There must still be wizardry there to rig up such things on the cheap. People to pedal is another story.

  • “It struck me as maybe feasible to create pedal power generators to effect hydroponics indoors in Cuba (and elsewhere). There must still be wizardry there to rig up such things on the cheap. People to pedal is another story.”-AL

    Well, as I mentioned in the OP, we don’t figure to go without Electricity in the Near Term at least for low power consumptive stuff, and the pumps you need to run a Hydroponics setup are very low in draw.

    Beyond that, you can set up mechanical storage of energy to run small pumps, both Roamer and myself have designs for doing this. I have spring loaded systems and gravity systems that store wind power when it blows, Roamer is working on thermal pumping systems. Compressed air is another variant here.

    And yes, you can also pump straight off a bicycle too, though you would need somebody to pedal for a few minutes each hour if you don’t do mechanical energy storage.

    My general estimate is that after JIT shipping collapses, if you are well prepped you can keep basic electrical systems going another 20 years after that, then 50 years for mechanical systems depending on what is scavengeable.

    Even if the external environment in 50 years has become incompatible with traditional farming, a combination of Greenhouse and Hydroponics should be possible with temp increases of 8C I think if you have source of water and can do some evaporative cooling methods.

    However, I remain hopeful that runaway warming to this level is not in the cards and that there are unidentified negative feedbacks that prevent it. Very complex system here overall, and no model to work with past the PETM.

    Anyhow, what an ADVENTURE, eh? You cannot come up with a Greater Challenge even with Science Fiction really.

    When the Going Gets Tough, Heliopaths Get Going. :)