The Light Brigade of Doom & Uncertainty Principles

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 22, 2013

http://www.originalpaintings.com/images/David_Cartwright/gunsmoke_new.jpg

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

A while back when we got going with our Podcasts, one of our first Guests to discuss the oncoming DOOM was Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last. In the Taxonomy of Doom Scenarios, Guy fits under the rubric of what I call “Uber Doom“. Guy projects a high likelihood if not certainty of Near Term Human Extinction inside the next Century. I myself fit under the rubric of “Full Doom“, which projects out a pretty massive knockdown of human population, but not necessarily an Extinction Level Event for this species. The conversations we had with Guy were entertaining and informative, I’ll include them here for folks who have not listened to them as of yet.


The relationship the Diner has with NBL sorta simmered on the Back Burner until recently, when Guy published a couple of my articles on NBL. As a result of that, I found out about technical problems Guy was having with NBL, and offered our help in resolving them, under the theory Doomers should stick together even if they don’t have precisely the same spin on the end game here. Result here is that as of today, there is a New NBL on a New Server, and we hope it works real well for the Uber Doomers on that site.

In publishing my spin on NBL though, in commentary I have already been subject to quite a bit of derision regarding my philosophy and how I am approaching the oncoming problems we face. As opposed to most websites where my views are considered extreme and TOO DOOMERISH, on NBL I am not Doomerish ENOUGH! Rather than answer each and every individual comment that has been made inferring that I am unrealistic, in denial, not conversant with all the issues etc, I thought a better idea would be to write an article looking at the different Attitudes that are extant among people who are aware of the issues we face here. In so doing, I hope to clarify this, and eliminate or at least reduce the number of comments my articles on NBL elicit which are so far off the mark it isn’t funny. Assumptions being made by many of the commenters are entirely wrong, made only because they have their own ideas and spin and have not looked at all at how we approach these issues on the Diner, and now on SUN :icon_sunny:as well. So let me now elucidate the problem as I see it overall.

Once you grasp hold of the many problems we face coming down the pipe here, not the least among them being a Non-Zero likelihood of Near Term Human Extinction, there are a few way you can react to this:

1-Party Like it’s 1999.

Party like it is the End of the World, well, because it IS the End of the World! Nothing can be done about in anyhow, so go out in Style. Of course, if the world does NOT end on your timeline and you spend all your money partying it up BEFORE TEOTW comes, the succeeding years will be more difficult than they otherwise might have been.

2-Starship Hale-Bopp

Queue up for the next Comet passing reasonably near Earth and attempt to Hitch a Ride on the Starship trailing it. Since we don’t have enough decent Spaceships available at a reasonable Ticket Price to make Earth Orbit, you will need to divest yourself of your Corporeal Baggage and try to Thumb them down in Spirit form as they blow by here. This of course was the Heaven’s Gate meme, and who knows maybe it worked?

Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religion doomsday cult based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985).[1] On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide[2] in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Comet Hale–Bopp, which was then at its brightest.[3]

3- Bemoan it on the Internet

Relieve your frustrations through Daily Posting on a variety of Blogs and Forums dedicated to TEOTW ideas. Complain about the sad state of Homo Sapiens, greed and stupidity while you while away the days, weeks, months or years it takes until the Internet Goes Dark. We do our share of this on the Diner, so I can’t say this is without value. It has a cathartic effect to do some venting on this issue. However, you can overdo a good thing here, and miring yourself in dismal thinking is not real productive overall.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BhaQdAImYwE/Ugptn4XtgrI/AAAAAAAAhz0/WUXxe3OJrGQ/s1600/Cocoa_Puffs_shirt_link.jpg4- BAU Denial

Look at every Fact & Factoid available, and construct a rationale for why it won’t actually happen, then just go on living your normal life convinced you have resolved this issue and the Doomers obsessed with it are Fruit Loops or Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

5- Take on the CHALLENGE!

Figure if TEOTW is a possibility, challenge yourself to see just how long you can actually keep going! Why be the First to Die here rather than the Last?

http://mommography.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/lets-make-a-deal-doors.jpg

I am in the Door #5 Camp, despite the fact in the original Let’s Make a Deal, Monte only had 3 Doors available.

Why pick Door #5?

Well, first and foremost, there is no Absolute Guarantee that we will get complete wipeout. When Toba went Ballistic, 10K Human Souls made it through that one. Second, for the AGW crowd, there is no absolute proof you get runaway warming that does not reverse even with CO2 levels at 1000 ppm, and right now we are only at around 400.

First of all, how much does atmospheric CO2 rise if you add 3000 GtC to the system in a (geologically) short period of time? Zeebe et al. did this calculation and the answer is about 700 ppmv – quite a lot eh? However, that is a perturbation to the Paleocene carbon cycle – which they assume has a base CO2 level of 1000 ppm, and so you only get a 70% increase – i.e. not even a doubling of CO2. And since the forcing that goes along with an increase in CO2 is logarithmic, it is the percent change in CO2 that matters rather than the absolute increase. The radiative forcing associated with that is about 2.6 W/m2. Unfortunately, we don’t (yet) have very good estimates of background CO2 levels in Paleocene. The proxies we do have suggest significantly higher values than today, but they aren’t precise. Levels could have been less than 1000 ppm, or even significantly more.

During the PETM, temps on Earth rose significantly higher than today, and CO2 also despite no Industrialization we know of. Nevertheless, the Earth was able to recover and all life was not extinguished. So there is also a Non-Zero possibility that this time again the Earth recovers; if this is the case all you as HS has to do is figure out means to make it through a few tough millenia to come. When the Going Gets Tough, the Heliopaths* get Going!

(*Heliopath is my terminology for folks involved in the SUN Project. “Following the Path of the SUN” :icon_sunny:)

In terms of some of the other Door Choices, I find it a waste of time to be getting all bent out of shape over whether HS is responsible for this or not. We have always been living on Borrowed Time, another Supervolcanic event or another Large Asteroid Collision is a GUARANTEE inside the next 100K-300K years at the outside. All the geological signs I see point to a near term GW effect regardless of what HS did or does in the future. The Yellowstone Caldera IS filling with magma, and the earthquake swarms there ARE on the increase. All you need to do to see how much geotectonic activity is increasing is go review the charts produced by DLindquist:

So we were going to face this stuff down sooner or later no matter what Homo Sapiens did during our existence on Earth. Life here was always a temporary thing, just as your own corporeal existence is a temporary thing.

http://www.hotflick.net/flicks/2009_2012/0092012_Woody_Harrelson_011.jpg

So, in essence I consider myself a fortunate man, I got to be alive at the CUSP of what is likely to be either an ELE or a VERY serious Bottleneck of Population on the order of the Toba Cataclysm 75,000 years ago. If 10,000 Human Souls could make it through that one, it can be DONE AGAIN. I have a challenge before me only one other generation in the last 75,000 years of human history ever faced before. That is not just the challenge of a Lifetime, it is the challenge of MILLENIA of Lifetimes.

The Toba eruption or Toba event occurred at the present location of Lake Toba about 73,000±4,000 years[6][7] ago. This eruption was the last of the three major eruptions of Toba in the last 1 million years.[8] It had an estimated Volcanic Explosivity Index of 8 (described as “mega-colossal”), or magnitude ≥ M8; it made a sizable contribution to the 100X30 km caldera complex.[9]Dense-rock equivalent (DRE) estimates of eruptive volume for the eruption vary between 2,000 km3 and 3,000 km3 – the most common DRE estimate is 2,800 km3 (about 7×1015 kg) of erupted magma, of which 800 km3 was deposited as ash fall.[10] Its erupted mass was 100 times greater than that of the largest volcanic eruption in recent history, the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which caused the 1816 “Year Without a Summer” in the northern hemisphere.[11]

The Toba eruption took place in Indonesia and deposited an ash layer approximately 15 centimetres thick over the whole of South Asia. A blanket of volcanic ash was also deposited over the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian and South China Sea.[12] Deep-sea cores retrieved from the South China Sea have extended the known reach of the eruption, suggesting that the 2,800 km3 calculation of the erupted mass is a minimum value or an underestimate.[13]

…The Toba eruption has been linked to a genetic bottleneck in human evolution about 50,000 years ago,[28][29] which may have resulted from a severe reduction in the size of the total human population due to the effects of the eruption on the global climate.[30]

According to the genetic bottleneck theory, between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago, human populations sharply decreased to 3,000–10,000 surviving individuals.[31][32] It is supported by genetic evidence suggesting that today’s humans are descended from a very small population of between 1,000 to 10,000 breeding pairs that existed about 70,000 years ago.[33]

 

I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain’t gonna lose. -Freddie Mercury

Not if you Party like its 1999 will you be there after the Zero Point though. Not if you Hitch a Ride on Hale-Bopp will you be either. Nor will it do you a whole heck of a lot of good to just bemoan the TEOTW on the Doomstead Diner or Nature Bats Last or Deny what is coming and live life BAU EITHER!

brigade460x276Your ONLY chance (which may be very small, but still Non-Zero) is to TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE! What’s the worst that can happen? You fail and die, but that would have happened anyhow, so not a downside risk in this case.

For those of us involved in the SUN Project :icon_sunny:, we will not go down without a fight. We will NOT GIVE UP. We will not QUIT until the Fat Lady Sings. The very WORST that happens is we Die With Honor, doing what is right. BEST case, we are the 10,000 who make it through the Zero Point, as another group of Homo Sapiens did 75,000 years ago when things looked REALLY BAD and the Skies Went Dark. We Ride into the Valley of Death Unafraid. We are the Light Brigade of Doom.

I leave you today with the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

1.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

2.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

3.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

4.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

5.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

6.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Part II-Uncertainty Principles

Off the keyboard of RE

Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 29, 2013

schrodinger

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

It is the wee hours of Christmas Morning here on the Last Great Frontier, and I have been awake since Midnite after taking an early evening Nap on Christmas Eve. For the first time in I cannot recall how long (maybe the first time EVER!) , I have managed to avoid getting invited to anybody’s house for Christmas Dinner, or any Christmas Parties either. Well, there is a small Work Party I will attend on Friday, but nothing here on Christmas Eve or on the Big Day itself.

People who aren’t Loners get all bent out of shape about the idea of “being alone” on Christmas, like this is some kind of Mortal Sin. You are SUPPOSED to get together in a big crowd of people, open lots of Presents and then eat a massive Turkey Dinner. After a full month, you should have digested the Thanksgiving one, and finished the Leftovers too so it’s time to stuff your face again! You are supposed to revel in the joy of watching Happy Children’s faces as they open their newest Toys, this year probably the latest Ipad or XBox game.

I admit to being pretty astounded by this technology, and I buy some of it for myself too. Well, not Apple Shit, I buy Samsung Shit. I don’t buy Xbox games either, even though I enjoyed playing the earliest Arcade Games like Space Invaders and Missile Command in my College years, and the Strategy Game Civilization after I got my first ACER Computer sometime in the early 90s I think it was. (That sucker had only 500MB on the HARD DRIVE! Talk about the Jurrassic period of computers. LOL.) I got pretty badly addicted to that game too for about 6 months until I finally learned how to beat it and win all the time, sometimes destroying all other Civilizations and taking over the Planet, crisscrossing the continents with Railroads and whatever High Tech stuff that early version of Civilization had to offer. Other times I would build the Spaceship to go Colonize other Planets. Those were your two choices basically if you won the game. Either GET OFF the Earth first, or DESTROY everybody else on the Planet. There were no choices there for a Genetic Bottleneck and massive crash of the human population or for Near Term Human Extinction either.

I had to wait until just recently to get a game like that, this time for my Samsung Tablet called PLAGUE. In that one, you get to design a Plague of varying types and the objective is to wipe out all of humanity. I got good at that game faster than Civilization, and wiped out Humanity numerous times with Viruses, Nano-Viruses, Bacteria and Fungi. There are a few other choices too, but I haven’t had much time to play lately, what with battling out the REAL problem here right now on Earth. LOL. Computer games just don’t measure up when the REAL THING is staring you in the face. At least for an adult this is true anyhow, not so true I think for the current generation of kids opening up their Xbox games this Christmas.

http://i1-games.softpedia-static.com/screenshots/Pac-Man-Deluxe_1.jpgWhen I was touring our local Fred Meyer retail outlet, at the entrance they had a big display of the latest in Xbox games playing on a Big Screen LCD TV, and the ACTION and rendition of this stuff is amazing now. No more little Pac-men munching bits along a track, no more Super Mario Brothers cartoons jumping up and down, now you got 3D simulated Homo Sapiens that are getting so darn close to looking like Real Actors they probably won’t NEED real actors anymore to make movies, least until the system collapses here anyhow. So your typical Kid Gamer Junkie now can use his Joystick to control the action, whatever it is from blowing away Zombies to flying Drones to being an NFL Quarterback, all in the comfort of Mom’s Basement, long as the McMansion hasn’t been foreclosed on yet anyhow.

So, plenty of distraction out there for the young’uns, but anyone past the age of 30 or so now who is oblivious to the writing on the wall has to be close to Brain Dead. Really, my co-host on the Collapse Cafe Monsta is in his 20s, and he can see it, so you don’t absolutely need to be an Old Fart with many seasons under the belt to catch the drift here. It doesn’t take a Weatherman to know which way the Wind Blows after all.

Far as the Weather here is concerned, the Weathermen on NBL predict a Near Term Human Extinction, based on their best Super Computer Modelling, and since we hooked up with these folks to help them cure a variety of website problems related to spam and hacking, I have been spending a decent amount of time offsite here battling what I consider to be counterproductive NEGATIVITY on the issue of how you REACT to all the problems we face down at the moment. Not sure there is a real good reason for arguing with people who are CERTAIN Extinction is in the offing here by Mid-Century, anymore than I am sure there is a real good reason for arguing with Christians about whether Jesus Christ was the Son of God, but I do it anyhow. LOL.

Absolute CERTAINTY of anything leads to fanaticism, particularly if what you are so certain of cannot be proven. Data on Climate Change is a lot like Data in the Bible, it all relies on assumptions made about the past or future, neither of which can be known with certainty. You can cross-correlate all you like to beef up your arguments, but Uncertainty remains in there always. I think many if not most people are uncomfortable dealing with uncertainty, they pick a Conclusion that fits their thinking and then they get to STOP thinking about it, because the problem is resolved for them. If things are Uncertain, you constantly have to re-evaluate and the Sands Shift Beneath Your Feet all the time. You are always swimming in the Sea of Uncertainty, and this is exhausting.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/bQ5Hh08Tk8RqQX0V6kxHZzVdHQCUEfmSv8tKHEBKvWdqO5Qp2CNBDvxPgo4V9QJvwA=h900Depending on the type of certainty you have, it also leads to a kind of paralysis. There is no purpose to playing a game anymore once you become certain of the result. I stopped playing Civilization and PLAGUE! because once I was good enough at both those games, I was certain of the outcome, which was that I would win. If you went to a Baseball game and were certain of the outcome, it would cease to have any excitement or meaning. Yogi Berra phrased the reality of it most eloquently when he said “It ain’t over until it’s over”. I remember one time leaving a Mets game with my dad in the 7th inning because he had some deal he hadda do, and the Mets were behind by like 6 runs and it looked like it was OVAH. Riding back into Manhattan in the car listening to the game on the radio, Cleon Jones hit a Grand Slam in the bottom of the 8th inning, and then in the 9th Bud Harrelson singled in two more runs and the game was TIED! Tug McGraw was called in from the Bullpen to pitch in Extra Innings and it went into the 11th inning before sadly the Mets lost that game, but WHAT A GAME! I shoulda still been there too, but Dad the Pigman had more important things to do.

I get battered over the head with data references when I engage the Uber Doomers on NBL, “Have you LOOKED at the graph on Ocean Acidification?”. Like I can’t read a graph as well as the next math genius out there. LOL. I am also fully aware of the 400+ Nuke Reactors out there which are Ticking Time Bombs and of the fact that the Arctic Ocean is bubbling up Methane like a warm bottle of Champagne. What this all tells me is that at the moment Man is ahead in the Destruction Game of the Earth by 6 runs, but in this game as Guy phrases it, Nature Bats Last and I don’t know what Nature has up her sleeve here or what it is possible for her to do in the Bottom of the 9th.

http://photos.mongabay.com/06/petm2.jpgI do know that during the Pleistocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) the earth was a good 6 C warmer on average than it is today, but it didn’t keep going up and in fact reversed itself over time. I also know that while there was a massive Extinction Level Event during this period, all life was not extinguished either. It did not get sooooo hot that all the proteins denatured and no living thing could survive. Without a good explanation for why the warming reversed at the end of the PETM and why it won’t again this time or at what average temperature level such a reversal might take place, I can’t be CERTAIN of the outcome, and so the game is NOT OVAH.

There are some things here I can be certain of, for one that BAU will not continue on here much longer. Industrial Civilization as we know it can’t continue onward without copious amounts of cheap energy oozing up out of the ground from holes poked in GAIA’s skin by Homo Sapiens, and said cheap Oil is just about exhausted, with only very energy expensive Oil left to try to suck up from deep on down or wedged tightly into rock formations. It’s not economic on an energy level to extract this stuff so eventually the wide open Credit Spigot for doing the development will trickle out, and the Black Gold will stop flowing.

It is also pretty certain (though not as certain) that along with the decreasing amount of per capita energy available, we won’t be able to support the vast sea of humanity we have bred up here through the Age of Oil, and a very significant Die Off of Homo Sapiens will take place. What is uncertain and also very important here is precisely when this Die Off will begin in earnest (it already has begun in some places) and how rapidly it proceed across the Globe. Still more uncertain than that is precisely how society and civilization will react and adapt once this commences. You can be sure there will be some kind of reaction, you just can’t be sure exactly what form that will reaction will take. A High Probability event of course is increasing Warfare and also major political dislocations and Goobermint changes/overthrows. What is uncertain in this one is how that will affect your neighborhood and then how you will deal with those eventualities as they occur.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2013-03/16/132238909_21n.jpgMany if not most people on the Planet right now have very limited choices in what they can do or where they can live. The vast majority of the world population lives in desperate Poverty in places like Calcutta, Nairobi and Mexico City. They can’t afford a bus ticket out much less a plane ticket, and about nowhere else on earth wants to take in new refugees either. In the Great Depression, this was imortalized in the sign, “Jobless Men, Keep Going. We can’t take care of our own.” Even here inside the FSoA, most of the population has very limited choices, means and knowledge to “Exit the Matrix”. The folks Freezing in their Detroit apartments after the Christmas Ice Storm took out their electricity don’t know what to do, even if they had some money they wouldn’t know what to do. The situation these folks are in is hopeless, they cannot be saved. That is reality.

For the readers of websites like the Doomstead Diner or Nature Bats Last though, this is not the case just yet. It may be as time goes by, but not there quite yet. Although most people do not have means to set up their own Private Doomstead in the Boonies of Maine or the Highlands of Wales, it remains possible at the moment for people to organize up here even with limited means. That of course is why we set up the SUN4Living website. Here in the FSoA, you have to be pretty darn far off the cliff to not be able to connect to the Internet and network somehow. You can still go to libraries for free internet access if you don’t have your own computer or smartphone. Even if you are homeless and at least have a Netbook, you can drop in a Coffee Shop or Laundromat and use their WiFi.

Besides the Infant Project of SUN, there are other networking possibilities in existence longer. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) provides one such type of networking, though I think you generally need to be fairly young and not encumbered by a family to pursue this paradigm. Long in existence projects like The Farm in TN and Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary in PA provide a wealth of knowledge and information on transitioning off Industrial Living.

http://media.wbur.org/wordpress/9/files/2013/07/farm-624x424.jpgAre any of these ideas and methods long term Sustainable in the face of the many problems we face down here now, from Climate Change to Nuke Puke being Vomited Up all over the Planet? Probably not, they only provide a Bridging Solution for the near to medium term as we exit the energy intensive civilization we live under now. However, Bridging Solutions are important for numerous reasons, whether or not the End is Extinction in the Near Term. Extinction is GUARANTEED in the Long Term, so it is mainly a matter of timelines here on how long this actually takes to play itself out. Extinction would occrur regardless of what Homo Sapiens ever did or will do in the future. The Biosphere has a very limited timeline on the Universal Scale, it won;t support life for more than another 500M years no matter WHAT. So why get all bent out of shape if it occurs inside the next century? Bound to occur sometime, everything dies.

Anyhow, in the long term, you cannot win this game, that is a CERTAINTY. All life will be extinguished on earth at some point here, you just cannot be precisely certain how long it will take. So there is no point to playing a game where you expect the outcome to be LIFE FOREVER, unless of course you buy the Star Trek meme of Interstellar Travel, which I do not. Even there, the Universe eventually comes to a close, either Imploding on itself eventually or expanding and randomizing to Absolute Zero over time. In this game, all you play with are TIMELINES.

So, in such a Game, what is Winning? Winning is lasting longer than the Weatherman predicts. If the Weatherman predicts I can only survive to Mid-Century, I play the game to last longer than that. When I cross the Great Divide into the Great Beyond, I will meet up with the Weatherman, and I will Lord this Over Him. “See? You were WRONG! Homo Sapiens did NOT go Extinct by 2050. it took until 2150 because we played a better game than you predicted as possible.” LOL.

Never QUIT, Never say DIE until you are well and truly DEAD. It ain’t OVAH till it is OVAH, and the Fat Lady Sings too. The Game is afoot, and I play to WIN.

http://sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/i/keep-calm-and-play-to-win-6.png

See you on the Other Side, Guy. 😉

RE

____________

Please limit yourself to two posts daily. More comments are welcome at the NBL Forum.

____________
The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 March 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 7-day seminar, 24-31 May 2014, Moho Creek, Belize, Central America.

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 14-day seminar, 12-25 June 2014, Izabal, Guatemala, Central America.

____________

Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by several readers at Amazon. An excerpt follows, but first I will attempt to defuse the trolls: As with my other books, Going Dark will lose money even before I start giving away copies.

Safely shuttering a nuclear power plant requires a decade or two of careful planning. Far sooner, we’ll complete the ongoing collapse of the industrial economy. This is a source of my nuclear nightmares.

When the world’s 440 or so nuclear power plants melt down catastrophically, we’ve entered an extinction event. Think clusterfukushima, raised to the power of a hundred or so. Ionizing radiation could, and probably will, destroy most terrestrial organisms and, therefore, most marine and freshwater organisms. That, by the way, includes the most unique, special, intelligent animal on Earth.

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Comments 122

  • Whoa, RE. Thanks. This will take some time to read and digest. Meantime, here are a few words from a song Bing Crosby made famous:

    You’ve got to accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    Hang on the affirmative
    Don’t mess with Mr. in between…

    More soon/

  • “Hang on to the affirmative” (I wonder if it’s me or the keyboard that keeps leaving out words.)

  • I’ve gotta be out of a hotel in an hour, so I’ll only take a shot at a few thoughts after a quick skim and finding many points in common.

    The uncertainty of it I’ve attempted to express for several months now in probabilities, and I think they encompass several categories of NBL’s discussions.

    I’ve said I think we are at 70% (ballparking a vast spread of possible numbers) NTE if humans were to stop IndCiv on a dime. That expresses the feedback loops that already are going to release methane, and other bad stuff, and we just don’t know how much of that (methane and stuff) there is to be released. So any number, really, could fit in here. I invite yours, even with the caveat of imprecision — and whether or not you’re over 50%, how you feel about it.

    Then there is the human factor, and we know that IndCiv will not be stopped on a dime, or any time soon, and for that calculation I go to the 95% certainty level, saying that unless something almost unforeseeable comes and “rescues” us, it’s going to happen pretty much as Guy has been describing.

    But, a lot of discussion is about the possibility of humans changing their behavior, and so I include a category of probability for this. (Might look like about 5% out of that 30%, so does that mean I think it 1 chance in 6 humans will do something about this? That sounds too high to me, but what do I know, heh heh? Probably alien or deity intervention makes up a tiny bit of the 5%, go figure for yourself, hardy har har!)

    (And of course, much like the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ clock, at somethink-minutes to midnight for so many years, each year IndCiv continues nudges those percentages a little bit higher, further negating any human effort to reform or repent and change behavior and therefore the scientific outcome.)

    Now, for someone to say that Extinction won’t happen, you have to posit — and describe to ME — scenarios by which someone, somewhere, WILL survive. Who? Where? Why? How? And I think this is where RE takes us so eloquently. It’s a conversation we may choose to have, even if it only happens in the 5% interstices of my calculations.

    Why not have it, if the rest of it, the 95%, is about how a mass die-off happens (99%, that one), and how the mass die-off turns into an everybody die-off. Hey — I’ve read enough sci-fi, why not discuss real life sci-fi, use our imaginations to maybe ferret out something we may not have thought of before, however unlikely? Go for it!

    So, we can question some of the scientific data or conclusions, things I’d like to study some more, such as the methane levels found under coastal shelfs, and how it may be released. Things like Guy’s mentions of plants disintegrating above certain temps, and then whether those temps would be reached. Those sound like two of the big killers to me. Nails in the coffin, along with radiation, and phytoplankton.

    But we definitely lose mass agriculture long before that, and so my search, since I encountered NBL, has been the Where-Who-How of survival, combined with the reaching out for more Compassion as we possibly end this human journey on Earth. Good combination?

    More later — ?? — gotta run… Thanks, RE!

  • The Alarm Bells of Climate Change With a Twist (fascinating and well documented):

  • So then your reason for saving humanity is so you can win and get to tell folks you were right?

    Your slogans are laughable – playing to win is why we’re in this mess.

    RE says: “The Game is afoot, and I play to WIN.”

    Does that mean NBL will become a Diner accessory before long?

  • The interesting thing about the PETM is that it occurred with the bulk of the carbon that nature had sequestered in the form of coal and oil over hundreds of millions of years still sequestered underground.

    Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution a large portion of the coal and about half the oil have been desequestered, and the carbon has been put into the atmosphere and oceans in the form of carbon dioxide, rapidly overwhelming the biological and geological processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans.

    In other words, there is a distinct possibility (probability) that the thermal maximum humanity is orchestrating will be somewhat higher than that achieved in the PETM.

    Indeed, all the evidence I have seen indicates that humanity is destabilising the chemical and physical systems that make life-as-we-know-it possible at a rate between ten times and a hundred times faster than occurred during the Permian Extinction Event.

  • Hmmm? Comment wasn’t rejected but it didn’t appear. New glitches?

  • Thanks RE for a very thoughtful and well reasoned approach to the ongoing collapse of civ and the open questions that arise around the idea of NTE. I am not a big fan of closing my mind tight against anything whatever. My attitude is, let me think about it, then we’ll see… I tend to respect folks like yourself who have been involved in an open search for the realities and possible courses of action on this issue for a considerable period of time. I really don’t have any major points of disagreement with your analyses and plans. At the same time I understand that not everyone (including me) is in a position to join you on what will surely be an adventure worth having. The sort of alternative community you are envisioning is unique and has features that differ from the small communes I took part in years ago in Hawaii. I can only wish you the best of luck and good fortune on your venture.

    You may have already read my thoughts on the importance of having some type of regular small group meetings to help people discover their inner obstacles to community living, and also develop some latent abilities beyond ego essential to a new world and the new kinds of people necessary for it to continue to prosper in a more mutually helpful way. We are destroying this world largely on the basis of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and aims we hold in our minds. Remember the story of John Woolman, the old Quaker who was seen carefully going through his pockets outside of a projected peace meeting. When asked why he was doing this he replied, “I am checking to see if I might be carrying the seeds of war in my own pockets before going in to our meeting.” We idealists can so easily buy into our own blamelessness and imagined purity…

  • Swallowed my comment again…

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #94

    Low winter river
    reeks, as salmon rot. Heron
    eyes the purse-dog park.

  • RE, you seem more motivated to convince us than we do you (I’m not posting on Doomstead Diner, for instance).

    The only thing I’m 100% certain of anymore is death. After that, doubt sets in. So please don’t characterize everyone who posts here as totally certain of NTE. It’s certainly possible that some people will survive and even for a “long” period of time. Why anyone would want to is beyond me, but hey, whatever.

    To Ben DeJong, Bob S, Jan Steinman and others, want to thank you for the inspiration: http://www.igotsomethin.wordpress.com

    Thanks to wolfbird, too, but for different reasons.

  • “Swallowed my comment again…”

    WTF? Did you have to use the captcha when you posted your response to Re’s article? That will telly us if you were logged in or not when you commented.

    It makes no sense you get spam filtered if you’re logged in, – although it made no sense based on your content previously, either.

    -DS

  • (this got caught in the spam filters, along with multiple re-posts.)

    Well, first and foremost, there is no Absolute Guarantee that we will get complete wipeout.

    Quite right. Beyond the bottleneck the bottle may not be capped.

    Nevertheless, the Earth was able to recover and all life was not extinguished.

    Permian–Triassic extinction event (from the Wikipedia):

    “It is the Earth’s most severe known extinction event, with up to 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species becoming extinct. It is the only known mass extinction of insects. Some 57% of all families and 83% of all genera became extinct.”

    Maybe select politicians, economists and billionaires will get through the bottleneck and radiate into three new species: Homo politicus, Homo oeconomicarum and Homo babaecalus.

    If 10,000 Human Souls could make it through that one, it can be DONE AGAIN.

    Good point. There could be enough non-despoiled environment and resources to support such a small number. In the interim, a Soviet Chernobyl-style mobilisation of 500,000 proles to entomb each of the 400+ Fukes prior to the dieback, might help.

    People who aren’t Loners get all bent out of shape about the idea of “being alone” on Christmas, like this is some kind of Mortal Sin.

    Mortal sin is to violate the First Commandment. This includes worshipping a human being. Not applicable in the non-theistic religions: Jainism, Buddhism and two of the six philosophic schools of the Vedic tradition.

    That sucker had only 500MB on the HARD DRIVE!

    There was a time when floppy disks WERE floppy, 5 1/2 inch; the drive was used to first load the operating system from floppy to RAM, then the for the application, and lastly the data. Then there were two external drives, A:\ and B:\, and finally C:\, the internal “hard” drive. A 10 Mb hard disk and you were King of the Hill. Even the venerable Bill Gates said that there would be no need ever for more than 512K RAM. And those things used to cost an arm and a leg.

    Not sure there is a real good reason for arguing with people who are CERTAIN Extinction is in the offing here by Mid-Century

    No need to argue. The only real decision to make is whether one wants to work at LAST PERSON STANDING or at HOSPICE.

    whether Jesus Christ was the Son of God

    Well, maybe. But not SoG of the god of Abraham & Moses, and not SoG of one of the gods of the Quraish tribe (the tribe of Mustafa bin Abdullah bin Abu Mutallib, known to his followers as Muhammad, who had a preference for one of the Quraish deities).

    Absolute CERTAINTY of anything leads to fanaticism, particularly if what you are so certain of cannot be proven.

    HOSPICE does not require “absolute certainty”.

    and a very significant Die Off of Homo Sapiens will take place

    If the bottle is capped at the end of the bottleneck. If it ain’t, ‘twlll be just a dieback.

    Even here inside the FSoA

  • DS – I did not have to use captcha. I was logged in, with a “Howdy, mike k in the upper right corner. Go figure… You are the expert, I don’t have a clue…

  • “Does that mean NBL will become a Diner accessory before long?”

    Lol, No.

    Remember, RE is just one member of the Diner folks, and while he is respected for the effort he puts in, not everyone agree with his style, including me at times. Sometimes he drives me nuts, but like Guy, he puts days and days of work every week into educating people on the looming disaster(s) facing society. So I’ll put up with his different interpretation of “social graces” while we work towards a common cause.

    Besides, he prefers to wear people down with arguing until they agree – to get him to shut up. 🙂

    If RE had a mental breakdown and started claiming he was The one True Emperor of Doom(tm), and claimed control of the site the Diner is helping and supporting, they would be moved elsewhere immediately.

    It does not matter that my opinion on the future trajectory of humanity and the timescales of extinction are closer to RE’s than Guy’s, or the majority here. I will do what it takes to ensure the autonomy of this domain is respected. I’m a fan of Dissensus 😉

    – Doomer Support.

  • Taking off the support hat and putting on the personal opinion hat.

    I take NTHE as a serious possibility. It’s not the future I want, but if it happens on the worst-case timescale, I am still young enough to be around to the very end, to be witness to extinction. If it happens, I want to be one of the last humans alive. The earths final memory of us should be of a stoic species that learned from its errors and passed with dignity, walking softly on what remained of a once-beautiful planet, and protecting refugios where some species may have a chance.

    The last humans should not die with their hands around each others throat, fighting over the last puddle of oil. I want to get out of the way and outlive those stupid idiots.

    So NTHE or not, getting out of the rat race, and helping others do the same, is what i pursue.

  • First thing here is that when I get challenged on my ideas, I write exhaustively to cover it. That in fact is the main reason I got booted off Peak Oil. I got challenged so much by so many people there (it was a very big and active forum at that time) that often I would have to write 10 posts a day, not quite as long as the article above individually, but in aggregate probably that much. That is EVERY DAY.

    Now because I manage the Diner plus now SUN also, I don’t have time to write that much anymore, I keep it to one article a week. The last 2 weeks since we moved NBL to get it working right again I’ve been challenged nearly as much as on Peak Oil, so my last 2 Sunday Brunch articles have been an attempt to cover the ideas thrown at me during this time.

    One of my main goals in setting up the Diner was to bring together what I see as a very fractured Doom Community. Many different people writing on many different Blogs, the discussion is too diffuse to have an impact. I’m trying to bring as many people together as possible into a chorus, rather than the cacophany you have now. In fact I wrote an article about that some time back called Cacophany of Pundits or something like that, I’ll have to go search it down.

    I like the relationship we have developed with Guy, I publish his articles on the Diner whenever he writes them, though mostly these days it is guest authors here. I never asked him to publish anything of mine before Genesis, but launching that project is a big deal for us so I wanted to reach as many people as possible with it.

    It’s Guy’s choice on what of my material he will publish here, I just submit it to him. Do you just want to hear from people who are 100% on board with NTHE in the articles that are published here?

    I don’t paint a rosy picture of the future, after all 99% die off is a pretty darn ugly scenario to most people. I also don’t discount NTHE as a possibility, in fact I think it is a certainty but not over the timeline being bandied about here.

    What I write about (besides economics which is really my main focus usually) is what you do between now and the time when either most people are dead or everybody is dead. How do you handle the collapse of civilization? Where do you live, how do you make your way through such a mess? These topics I think are as valid to pursue on NBL as on the Diner, so when I write one that seems like it fits, I will submit to Guy as always. He makes the determination of whether it is appropriate fodder for NBL discussion.

    Anyhow, thanks for the mostly POSITIVE 🙂 response to the articles here so far. I won’t violate the 2 Post/Day in the top thread rule here either. However, depending how it goes, I might drop a few posts into the Overflow thread on the Forum. 😀

    RE

  • More than once now you have declared yourself a Doomer, well now, a “Full”-Doomer.
    However, you describe a Prepper. Not sure what an Uber-Doomer is. I’m just a Doomer. You don’t get to name me.
    Good luck.

  • DS & Haniel – Good to hear from you. As long as we keep talking to each other, we have a chance to work things out and understand each other better. Not doing that is a big factor that has put us in this mess. Of course we each have different takes on NTE. I’m into dissensus also. To pretend we all think the same way is the trap of conformity and fundamentalism.

  • Keep coming back RE your stuff is first rate, and we need it in the NBL mix imo.

  • Okay, I think I know what’s causing the false positives in the spam filters: multiple attempts to post the same comment over and over again when it does not show up instantly. Repeatedly posting the same spam link to a blog is a common habit of spam bots, so much so that spotting that blocking behavior is a “Feature” on a number of anti-spam plug-ins, and may be part of WordPress’s native anti-spam features.

    No one has reported a post never showing up since a day or so after the migration. So far every, “oh my god, the internets ate my homework” has been caught in the spam filter, and often (although not always) multiple posts in a short period period. I know Guy was dealing with duplicate posts before the migration, I could see them in the database.

    For those getting repeatedly caught in the spam filter, I recommend rebooting the box that connects you to the internet (you’re likely to get a new IP “Address” from your internet provider), then only post a comment once and show some patience. 🙂 The demand for immediate gratification is one of the uglier sides of modern society.
    If it does not appear within a day, then let me know.

    I think repeat posting from the same login/address increases the likelihood of future posts being flagged as spam. More “human” behavior may alleviate the problem.

  • Hugs to Doomer support and RE for your help. I would think this will be much better for Guy considering he was getting cyber attacked. Had no idea how bad this was.

    Interesting view point from RE. But I say we walk through all doors of thought and not limit ourselves. Do some quantum tunneling into the denser fields of existence? I think that we will be better and more unified. Maybe that is what this is all about. I don’t need certainty and I think in that I am free in an important way. From the domestication process and the limits placed on us. But, that is just me. Let the dissensus continue.

    And Guy, I am going to answer your question about my comment regarding the disjointed dialogue. Just in a bit of a reflective mode in my personal life. Thank you for the question back.

    But what is the NBL forum for? I am still confused about these changes. Is the forum open to all while this is for approved members?

  • But what is the NBL forum for? I am still confused about these changes. Is the forum open to all while this is for approved members?

    No, think of it as an overflow room for people who want to digress to other topics and not thread-jack.

  • @ FriedrichKling

    Hard evidence for aliens ? None. Hard evidence for alien abductions ? None. All you have is anecdote. Bollocks.

  • I think it will take some time for veterans here to use the forum as it is designed. Everyone is used to just posting up in WP, and we left the comments here open for that reason. It would have been too disruptive to go to all forum commentary as we have it set up on the Diner.

    The difference is that on WP, you cannot begin your own discussion on a topic of interest to you. You are restricted to just commenting below an article which has its own topic. As a result, there is a lot of thread drift/hijacking that goes on.

    In order for people to KNOW what is being discussed in the Forum separate from the Blog threads, you have to GO there and look to see what is going on. Which right now is not very much besides the comments made here on WP that are automatically reproduced on the SMF.

    We are discussing with Guy the possibility of doing a feed of topics being discussed on the Batter Up board that would appear as links in the Blog Menu. This would likely make the Forum more active overall.

    RE

  • Hey RE! Don’t you have your own web site to run your mouth/keyboard? It’s not considered a favor if you want something in return. Thank you Guy and everyone else. It was nice while it lasted.

  • @RE and all. As Badlands put it so well – I’m a lousy communicator. So first let me clear up that I appreciate your contribution in striving to strengthen the ‘doomer’ community. And I have no criticisms of your ideas and plans. I believe each and every one of us should do whatever we can to make peace with whatever we may believe with whatever time we may have left.

    It’s your real shitty motive that I question and was addressing. #5- Take on the CHALLENGE!

    Figure if TEOTW is a possibility, challenge yourself to see just how long you can actually keep going! Why be the First to Die here rather than the Last?

    You constantly insinuate and often say outright that “When the Going Gets Tough, the Heliopaths* get Going!

    (*Heliopath is my terminology for folks involved in the SUN Project. “Following the Path of the SUN”

    You give brief lip service to others, yet the constant background message is everyone else is an ass and only SUN can save humanity.

    ——————–

    The blog has changed drastically since I arrived when folks talked of their lives and their days and how the two post rule saved the blog – and Guy asked us to tone it down – ulvfugl took it down a notch and we were in a sweet spot. Then the hack and all of a sudden we have RE and SUN – Doomer Support – and it’s been nothing but RE and the SUN spam ever since.

    Ain’t my blog – I have no idea of the problems admin may have had or with any decision he may make on his blog – Guy has already provided us with the roadmap and it’s just a matter of keeping up with the research and paying attention.

    But maybe things will return to normal 🙂

  • Thanks Apneaman! Only time will tell if NBL devolves into a bottomless pit of claptrap.

  • Hi all,
    I been out of the loop for a while, moving out of house, finally no place to live, going on my walk from Sydney to Parkes. So many great essays, and I missed then for now.
    Please follow me on the first of the walks, will catch up as this walk comes to an end. I cant bring lap top on walk due to weight and tech restrictions.

    walkaway2014.com

    Any support and comments welcome.
    Go Guy !!

  • The difference between Doomstead Diner, SUN, etc. and NBL is the difference between Last Man Standing and Hospice. One’s preference depends on how one sees things.

    Unless the Doomstead Diner / SUN projects can scale up to 7+ billion people (and two or three planet Earths) they will have to exclude plenty of folks. They know it and acknowledge it. Of course, there are plenty of other groups, each with their own version of Last Man Standing.

  • @Bob S. Sad to say I have not been able to keep up, and last week I wrote a long reply to you that showed up for a while, but then later disappeared. I didn’t have time or heart to revisit that long-ago conversation that pushed buttons and set off triggers all over the place. And NO, I did not call you a lousy communicator! I called the entire human race lousy communicators, so there! And then there is this matter to clear up: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Dog%20Pile&defid=1841523

    I’ll leave it at that for now, because there is not much good news to share, except that we de-denounced Christmas this year for the kids, and though I could not get into the spirit, it was totally worth it for them. We gave our six year old son the bb gun we’ve been holding on to since last year, and he already hit his first can target shooting. We even got them a christmas tree, and after they decorated it, my two year old declared that ‘Santa is going to love it!’ and then reverted to calling me mom-mom, she was so happy.

    I can hear you judging me now, but I don’t care. That boy has come closer to death than probably most here, and more than once. That two year old baby has asthma as a result of last year’s drought, and now my four year old seems to have that nagging cough, as well. We went to the town square yesterday, as it was 56 F, and even I with my own asthma couldn’t go for a short walk without gasping for breath. We were a walking coughing sick ward. I use my son’s inhaler every day now. I had recently gone five years without one. Sound’s like I’m whining, but you should know that this is what slow, icky collapse entails- just being sick, feeling sick, never able to catch up, breathing in all that pollution, soaking up all those chemicals.

    Think you are immune? Think again, because this is now the age of Extreme Energy, and if they aren’t mining it or drilling for it in your area, they will be soon. Think we should move? Well, I would agree, but THIS is where we moved to, just a few short years ago. We stay until the very land evicts us, unless we get kicked out of the rental house we are in. Anyway, must go before I dig into the real bad news. So much doom, so little time to commiserate…Peace

  • @Freidrichkling

    I sat through the entire presentation by Oceanographer Jeremy Jackson. All I can say is.. Excellent! I only wish that the news he presented was better. But I’ve read too many articles of die-offs, etc. So, I know that the situation is what it is. THANK YOU for posting this link.

  • Its nice that RE is trying to umm… unite(?) “doomers”. I really respect that, as well as the work being done with sustainability projects or whatever. You’re doing well with that, and please stick to it. However, i’ve been reading alot of the posts on this site for a while, and have no clout here, but i have to say that i just dont like RE’s style. I’ve been lurking around for a while, just silently taking everything in, but i have to speak up about this stuff. RE’s style rubs me the wrong way, and he cant say that there are just 5 ways to react to NTE. Hail a spaceship behind hale-bopp? Take on the challenge and be the last human choking on radiation-saturated dust? Live in denial? Are you fucking serious? I dont know man, you cant just funnel people into a few schools of thought or modes of (re)action. I fell in love with NBL and visited often to hear of the raw reality staring us in the face, not to hear some guy attempt to tell me how to act. No one gives a damn about your gaming addictions in the 90s man. No one want to be sensationally labeled as an “uber doomer”. I’ve got a label for the average personality on this site. How about “realist”? Anyways, this kinda feels like the corporate mega-mergers of the radio, which turned it into audible garbage (not that most of it wasnt before). Thats just how it FEELS. This is one of my favorite places on the internet… possibly my favorite. I love hearing perspectives from people like kevin moore and ulv and others… i dont have much left, and i truly treasure this site more than most things on earth. Please dont pollute it with more stuff like RE’s. RE is a smart person with good intentions- thats obvious. But if NBL keeps this up, i’d love to hear about other similar blogs that discuss reality.

  • Unless the Doomstead Diner / SUN projects can scale up to 7+ billion people (and two or three planet Earths) they will have to exclude plenty of folks. They know it and acknowledge it. Of course, there are plenty of other groups, each with their own version of Last Man Standing.

    Yes, that’s a good way of putting it.

    I think people will self select for early extinction – and I’m okay with that. I’m all for giving people the tools to minimize the impact of their lives on the planet, and minimize the impact future events will have on them. I don’t expect it to be enough to save us from a horrible future, but those same tools can make the journey less unpleasant. Those who refuse to see to their food and energy security will be struggling the most, when the crops are destroyed be more and more severe storms, when economic markets freeze up, or the tankers are no longer coming form the middle east. Energy security means using no more than falls on the planet locally.

    I just want to get out of the way and let the damn system collapse, and help others do the same get out of the way the best they can. Last man standing is okay, I’ll say a prayer for the idiots who killed each other instead of rising to the greater challenge of being humble before nature. It’s not ours to destroy.

  • First, thanks a million for helping Guy getting NBL working again.
    This blog is like group therapy for many of us. And it’s a source of excellent information shared with warmth and compassion by Guy.
    I still have to use the incognito window, though, to see a reply box. Is that normal?

    Second, thanks for braving the waters and sharing your opinions, even if they may be unpopular. Or sometimes wrong. 😉

    And now for my critique:
    Play to win?
    Really?
    As someone else in this thread mentioned, we’re in this mess because of that malecentric instinct to play to win. I just think of Donald Trump when someone says that… I spit up a little in my throat just now thinking of him..

    I do intend on going down swinging, but mostly because I have offspring; it’s not about winning the game, it’s about seeing them through this apocalypse, whatever that means. The thought of my daughters and son being alone during this tears my heart out… I’m also keenly aware that survival depends on community. We are social animals and cannot live alone. The tragic story of the Donner party is evidence of that.
    oh yes, and the entire human evolution is too. We are just a bunch of snuggle bunnies.

    However, if you think you want to be one of the last 10,000 humans left standing in a nuclear and ecological apocalypse, i.e. destined to die horribly no matter what, be my guest.
    But you forgot something that Guy ALWAYS reminds us; HABITAT!
    If there is no habitat for animals or plants, there will be no habitat (food) for us.
    Those last 10,000 will be consuming each other on a moonscape.
    Habitat is already going away… And the Gods and angels and saints are silent. As are the global leaders… (the ones who murdered us)

    Perspective:
    The Permian extinction occurred over an 80,000 year period, allowing some plant adaptation to occur and plant and animal migration. Habitat was not completely lost. We and dolphins and sharks and monarch butterflies are the evidence of that.

    On the other hand, our current extinction is happening in centuries, and started about ten thousand years ago. Now it’s “heating” up and we lose 200 species a day.
    We are also about to set off 400 nuclear bombs that our ancient Earthlings did not have access to, and this will speed up habitat loss. I’d say, hmmm, significantly.
    Nothing will get to migrate or adapt when it’s irradiated… I direct your attention to evidence A, being Fukushima. It is the harbinger of what is to come… Soon…

    Add to that the high risk of disease and pestilence caused by chaotic weather patterns and warming that can easily wipe out 80% or more of human population thanks to intercontinental travel, and I remain curious as to what kind of plans one would have to survive such a rich cornucopia of apocalypse? Woofing, Four Corners (been there, uh sorry, it aint making it through the bottleneck), farm cooperatives and Transition Towns are nice to buoy spirits, but if you’re in the “Play to Win” corner, these are laughable attempts. At best.

    What might work:
    Have you a castle with a moat on some high island hundreds of miles away from nuclear power plants and with access to some deep underground spring untouched by seeping toxic waste? Where there is no serious risk of earth quakes? Or hurricanes? Or tornadoes? And with deep caves to hide in from the winter cold and from the summer heat? YOu wont need seeds. They won’t grow. But at least have some that can last a thousand years or so… So if your ancestors make it they can plant a pear tree… or a tomato seed. I don’t know if these particular seeds last a thousand years…
    And you’d need a stockpile of food for at least 150 people to last 10,000 years. That would give the radiation time to dissipate. You’d also need a method of controlling population growth for that length of time. Abortion would be mandatory after the first child to prevent the food from being eaten up over the 10,000 years…
    Will this be a traditional patriarchy? (ugh) Or would matriarchs make the decisions like they did for thousands of years in other cultures, like American Indian, Hawaiian, Estonian, etc., to the long term benefit of those cultures until patriarchal ones decimated them… ? I recommend a seventh Generation style of planning…
    If you want to win.

    Good luck!

    Now back to living in hospice for me. 😉
    love

  • Oh, ffs, RE, take a breather, relax and then come back. I don’t want you to feel offended. You’ve made an amazing contribution and people here ought to be grateful and thank you instead of gripeing. And Haniel too. Thank you both so much for all the hard work you’ve done sorting out all the problems. Maybe the readers don’t appreciate all the hostile crap that was happening behind the scenes.

    Look, this is the Beach of Doom, sort of Dress Rehearsal for whatever is coming, and it’s bound to be messy. Some people want hospice, RE wants a cavalary charge. Fkling believes in Aliens. I don’t even like B9K9 but I have a grudging respect and I’m glad he’s here. Pat the accountant ‘I hate U’ hahahaha…

    I don’t know why anybody would object to the SUN thing in principle, Guy doesn’t say ‘Give up, lay down and die’, does he. He says the antidote to despair is action. He says he admires DGR. If you look at the top headline, there’s ‘Beyond Reskilling’ offering courses learning stuff. Some people want to be busy learning practical knowledge.

    Imo, one person alone is not really a viable entity. The British in the Japanese Concentration Camps discovered that 4 was the minimum. Obviously, some people don’t want to survive, or don’t care. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s not even very important, just something to do, to pass the time.

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

  • Sayonara, Uber Doomers!

    This will be my last posting on NBL.  I also will not be sending Guy any further articles for publication here.

    While a few folks here have been supportive of discussing alternative viewpoints, there are enough others dropping in to Napalm me that it disrupts any reasonable conversation.  On the Diner I can manage that, here I cannot and will not.  Not my sandbox.

    I wish you all well as you deal with what is to come in your own ways.  I will have more to say on these issues to be sure, you can read them on the Diner if you so choose.

    SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE

    Goodbye my friends, it’s hard to die

    When all the birds are singing in the sky…

    Note: I waited until after midnite to post this so I would not violate the 2 Posts/Day Rule. 🙂

    RE

  • Thanks to Guy for posting this. I think there is room for an alternative doomer philosophy here, though I often get lambasted for presenting one here.

    Like RE, I would be considered an uberdoomer at many other places I contribute but have been labelled a denier here. It’s crazy. I think near term human extinction is possible but unlikely, though I haven’t yet figured out if 450 nuclear reactors going critical would be the final nail. I don’t think it’s as clear as some make out. As for climate, I think what may make this current phase different from the past is the rapidity of it. However, a paper earlier this year suggested that a phase of the PETM was even more rapid that we could imagine (4-6 degrees in 13 years), and life (not humans, as they weren’t around) made it through, so maybe NTHE but not NTE.

    RE, you dislike certainty but you appear to be certain that a supervolcano or asteroid strike will mess us up within then next few hundred thousand years. I don’t regard even that as a certainty, though highly likely. I also don’t know if your take on volcanic activity is valid. The recent apparent increase may be an artifact of better reporting, recording and measuring, plus, a paper a few years ago measured volcanic activity via proxy measurements and there doesn’t seem to be any clear long term trend or pattern over hundreds of thousands of years. It’s fairly random, with big spikes occurring at varying intervals.

    I was very close to joining an intentional community, put together precisely because of the predicament we face. We didn’t go because my wife is still a very long way from doomerism, though she has supported my little efforts where we are. So I wish you luck with SUN; I think you’ll need it from what I’ve seen of intentional communities – the one I mentioned was founded by some very smart people with heaps of skills and experience of this kind of thing but they are still struggling, 3 years after they started it, to get the settlers they need to keep going.

    So, I’m certain (whoops) that the human situation (and that of most other species) will get a whole lot worse very quickly, with climate change probably being the main driver of that deterioration. Just how bad it will get, and how quickly, we don’t know. No one knows the future for certain.

  • The Star Trek meme is the only meme that will enable humanity to survive in the long term. Even if we send off a few ships at subwarp with humans in some form of cryogenic stasis it may be enough to survive in the long term. But I think we will need to build nuclear engines that will sustain life in space indefinitely. Right now launching nuclear powered space craft is considered dangerous but when our survival is at stake the view may change. Also, there may be multiple universes and dimensions to be explored – it is not clear that the heat death of the universe is the final end of everything.

    And what is survival? Is survival of your gene pool enough? How about the genes themselves? One could engineer bacteria to contain a number of essential human gene and enhance the likelihood another humanoid species with a bit more respect for its environment will arise in the future.

    To me, that is what defines “winning” – the survival of our sentience. I think it’s doable beyond the efforts to combat climate change which may end up being too little too late. I myself would advocate a complete “all in” to burn up our existing fossil fuels to find a few permanent solutions. This may be the “lesson” humanity needs to raise itself in ways beyond the material.

  • “CAPTCHA unreadable”? — I hope we’re not being f’d with.

    As I often do, I skip to the last post and sort of scroll upward, to see what’s happened today. And my first reaction, “Wow! Sensitive! I wonder what, and by whom, was said?”

    Anyway, for all the talk of “groups” and “action”, I just end up back to an old life lesson, you just can’t count on people. You can talk with them, plan with them on building something, know them for years, and they “meet some chick” on the other coast and off they go. I should have known that, in my 20s, that’s how people are in their 20s, but, since I was in my 20s then, I had no idea how flaky we all could be.

    (We can get together now, decades later, those of us who’ve survived, and do our post-mortems on “why this failed” and “why he did that”, and let ourselves off the hook, because there’s no way we could have suspected any of it back then, without being totally suspicious and distrusting people, which we weren’t.)

    Then, you get to your 40s, and you think, this person and I are having a kid together, and she is going to have to be really blah blah blah (tolerant, patient, kind, compassionate, etc etc) for us to survive doing this, isn’t she? So, OF COURSE, she is going to be, right? MUST BE!!! I can go to the court case file online, and see the entries stretching out past one screen… (oh, and the kid turned out pretty much all right, phew!)

    So, even kind, brilliant — all sorts of good qualities, people — all of us have our weak points, our tripwires. One of the “strengths” of NBL, if you can call it that, and settle for that much, is “we’re all just talking here”, not really trying to “accomplish” much, but of course, it IS therapy for those of us newly arrived to what is happening. Express. Listen. Process. Recover. Move on.

    And, just like the trauma of divorce, and worrying about the future of a young child, you need time — years — to adjust your sights to the new world ahead of you, your life altered irreversibly by the knowledge shared with so few others. (And the implied command to JUST SHUT UP! with your Bad Ideas.)

    So expect everyone to have their own type of reactions, and not all of it to fit together in a neat puzzle.

    I’ve gone through life from early teens (like at summer camp) finding out that some of the people I hit it off with the first week kind of crapped out on me eventually, but a few who I clashed with initially turned out to be best lifetime buddies, or at least friends by the end of summer. Not always, but just enough to put me on alert that things weren’t always what they seemed at the beginning.

    And to not believe that my own impressions were divinely handed down. Some good instincts, yes, but not Holy Writ.

    Anyway, that’s just a bit of blahvulation to say that I appreciate when someone makes a brilliant contribution (which I still hope to read and comment on) and I will absorb that into my own zeit-whatever, and try to make the seed of their effort grow into something good. Very creative thought and expression always wakes up that impulse in me, yes it does.

    That’s why I look for a group who are MUTUALLY SUPPORTIVE contributors, and who allow others to have their say without it being any more determinative of the group than the actual level their contribution makes.

    If someone comes in at less, or crossways to that, I put that off into the “general representation” category in my mind, meaning, for each person who posts something like that, they represent a whole swath of humanity (who we might already know, or are going to meet and have to deal with) who look at things similarly, and whom we are going to have to deal with, at the level they come to us with.

    So you don’t just boot ’em out, as long as you can handle the load. (A few trolls, and not more than 20% semi-competent posters, I’d say, would be a limit.)

    We are all idiot savants, meaning, brilliant at some aspects, but with our blind spots in other areas. That should compel at least a modicum of humility on all parts.

    And the idea that any one person is “the spokesman” for a smattering of individuals posting thoughts on a topic is erroneous, however generalized an observation may be made based on brief discussions.

    (Maybe it was reading the word “Doomers” tossed in uber-frequently, as we had not before, that started to grate on my ear? My distrust of labels? Like hearing “Preppers” and “Hoarders”, or the “People of WalMart” website, like you were being cased for some Reality Freak show, instead being actually respected for the real and thoughtful life you actually are living?)

    How about labeling this forum “REAL SCIENCE (as applied to real life)”, because that is what Guy is actually offering the world. Yes, THE WORLD. (Along with other scientists attempting same.) Why stick pejorative labels anywhere near such efforts???

    You’ve heard my general disappointment that people have, yes, gotten STUPIDER over the past decades, even with all the technology to place MORE information at their disposal. They just have not trained themselves to do good things with the tools available.

    And Humans ARE the tool-making animal, but it’s as if the English at Agincourt had tossed down their longbows, and insisted on using caveman spears to fight the French knights, in all their armor. Sheesh!

    Anyway, a little part of me always resents being lumped in with a group, although of necessity, my words do appear alongside those of others. (Huh?! Wha’d he say?)

    It’s probably an offshoot or variation on Woody Allen Syndrome — Why would I want to be part of any group that would have me as a member?

    And, so far, I haven’t seen the SATs or any other standardized measurements be able to score for a SENSE OF HUMOR, but I suspect that’s a facet of life you just can’t test your way out of.

  • An emotional plague afflicts people whose belief systems are so rigid they ignore relevant facts and become enraged if anyone challenges their beliefs.

    The main purpose of science is to investigate the unexplained, not to explain the un-investigated.

    A man named Shechtman was convinced that he could create a crystal with a five-sided pattern that did not repeat itself. After 30 years of intensive work during which time he was ridiculed relentlessly by the scientific know-it-alls for lack of “documentation”, Dr. Daniel Shechtman won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

  • Is it possible to have some more simple seasons in the sun before we die?
    I am trying to have some w/o doing too much more damage.
    So far, so good.

  • Runaway methane release in the arctic has already begun.

    We cannot turn it around or stop it.

    IT IS ACCELERATING NOW.

    Although Sam Carana advocates geoengineering as a possible solution, his techno-fix hopes are pie-in-the-sky.

    “The warming of the Arctic seems likely to lead to the total melting of the Arctic Sea Ice in late summer no later than the summer of 2018 and to massive release of Methane from the melting of Methane Hydrates beneath the ESAS by the same date leading to runaway Global Warming and the end of most life on earth.”

    “In 2018, and probably before, the Arctic will be much warmer and the rate of Methane emissions by 2016 will cause alarm worldwide. In 2016 it will probably no longer be possible to prevent a runaway greenhouse event.”

    “The problem is that until after a runaway event has started, drastic climate impacts will not occur, so most people will not be alarmed by the situation.”

    IT IS ALREADY TOO LATE.

    Guy McPherson is one of the few, who openly says that the human experiment is doomed, & soon.

    McPherson says that our best strategy is to live our lives as if we are already in hospice.

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/

  • @RE – We are all living in a world that is almost totally dysfunctional. Hence our thinking, feelings, and behavior are mostly shaped by the enveloping madness of our culture, and our attempts to somehow navigate our lives in an impossible situation. Seeing this goes a long way for me in cutting my fellow loonies some much needed slack. Forgive us, for we don’t know WTF we are doing! If one of my fellow nut-cases disrespects me in some egregious fashion, I need to step back and consider the source she/he is coming from. Then I can reflect – oh yeah, he/she is crazy, like me, like all of us. Then I can relax and try to respond with what scraps of sanity I can manage…

    At least some of us on this slice of cyberspace we named the Beach of Doom are trying to awaken to the realities of our situation. I think we should get some sort of points for that, however uncertain and confused our first steps in this not so brave world might be. So don’t write us all off as uber-doomer snobs, although some of us might come pretty close to that at times. I look on this whole cyber-sharing effort as a schoolroom where some of us can grow and learn. It is definitely not a waste of time in my book, since I have grown and learned by taking part in this sometimes prickly affair. How do porcupines make love? Very carefully. I for one will miss your contributions here, which imo helped deepen our ongoing discussions. Drop in whenever you feel moved. ‘Til then, I’ll dig you at the Diner…

    @Kirk Hamilton – I have several gun toting friends here in Appalachia. They share your misunderstanding that an unarmed person is helpless. I no more try to argue with them against their position than I would try to persuade a Fundamentalist Christian out of their deeply held beliefs. They consider me crazy, and I accept that. What others believe on a whole range of things is just not a problem to me. I don’t spend a lot of time dreaming up nightmare scenarios that might happen, or imagining how I might prepare for them. I marvel at the doomsday preppers on TV and their obsessive concerns that have taken over their lives. I choose to not let future possibilities spoil my present days. As you can see, I am more a grasshopper than an ant, and glad of it.

  • mike k. I thought we were having this discussion at the end of the ‘Brisbane Institute’ comments thread a couple of articles back. Your responding here is out of context and therefore an unfair representation.

    My last statement on the subject there was:

    “Being helpless makes you feel better? Maybe you don’t have a family, then I could understand not having a gun. But, even if I was alone I would want to be able to help protect friends and neighbors.

    Believe me, when the SHTF, it’s going to be the best thing that could possibly happen for a lot of very dangerous bad asses. Chances are, if you can fire a couple of rounds they’ll just pass you by the first time. But then you’ll need to move. Remember, the police will be protecting their own families.(Or join the bad asses)”

    Now, just to catch up, I’m not into guns. I’ve never carried one in public. I only purchased my first one a year ago. I don’t worship guns but do have one now because of the future we’re facing.

    It’s about self protection. Am I protecting my family? Or am I protecting myself from how I would feel if, after social unrest sets in, a group of violent degenerates barges into our home and forces me to watch the rape of my wife and I didn’t have the means to stop them? I don’t know, maybe both.

    It’s complicated, life’s complicated. You’re a good guy, I can see that. Maybe you’re a Good Guy Fundamentalist! 🙂 Nothing wrong with that. Heaven knows, this world could use all the Good Guys it can get.

  • @RE – We are all living in a world that is almost totally dysfunctional. Hence our thinking, feelings, and behavior are mostly shaped by the enveloping madness of our culture, and our attempts to somehow navigate our lives in an impossible situation. Seeing this goes a long way for me in cutting my fellow loonies some much needed slack. Forgive us, for we don’t know WTF we are doing! If one of my fellow nut-cases disrespects me in some egregious fashion, I need to step back and consider the source she/he is coming from. Then I can reflect – oh yeah, he/she is crazy, like me, like all of us. Then I can relax and try to respond with what scraps of sanity I can manage…

    I don’t believe RE is here to reply, so I’ll chime in, being a “hopium” sufferer as well 😉

    I see the regular commentators here as a bunch of people who have just been told they have less than 25 years to live. No, I take that back, I see the regular commentators here as people who have been told their wives, their husbands, their kids, as well as themselves, all have less than 25 years to live.

    How the frack are people supposed to react to that sort of news? Not the same way as me every time, that’s for sure. I can see how RE’s exuberant enthusiasm for “doing something” can rub some people the wrong way. It’s not that the message is unwelcome to everyone, it’s that it’s very likely to “be the wrong time” in the cycle of “coming to terms with that prognosis” for at least some of the people here.

    If people come to the conclusion that for the time they have left, they want to try and treat the planet a bit better and are looking for ideas and techniques to do so, even if it’s hopeless, we’re over at the diner to chat and if we can, help. But this is not the venue for that discussion.

    In the same way, I believe that if individual Diners come to the conclusion that it’s game over for the planet, this place is a far better support structure for them going through that grieving process than the diner, where extreme pessimism will be napalmed because it makes people on a different part of the spectrum of “doom” equally uncomfortable.

    Some will face the concept of NTHE by giving up, others will fight tooth and nail to make a difference and perhaps change that. We’re all going to be dead in a century or less, so we live our lives the way that gives us meaning.

  • Hi Kirk – Sorry about hopping threads (the grasshopper in me?). Actually I am just a piss poor pc user. Thanks for your clear and reasonable response. I am not a carved in stone pacifist either, and the day might come when I would toddle down to the gun shop and load up. I don’t think any of us really know what we will do when TSHTF. An open mind can be a handy asset. I respect your present choice re: fire arms, and hope you never need to use it, but if so – shoot to kill, and pray for your targets later. Years ago I trained on man sized targets; it helps if you encounter a real situation that requires instant decisiveness. Also, I understand my Appalachian buddies carrying heat given the culture of grudges and violence they have lived in their whole lives. I even forgive myself for going armed on the mean streets of Chicago when I lived up there…

  • DS – My recent post did not print. I will not try to re-post it, as per your recent instruction. Patient waiting is my game now. Thanks for all the help you are giving this blog. You are a real model of how different collapse-aware groups should respect and help each other.

  • DS – My recent post did not print. I will not try to re-post it, as per your recent instruction. Patient waiting is my game now. Thanks for all the help you are giving this blog. You are a real model of how different collapse-aware groups should respect and help each other.

    Thanks, Mike; although not all here appreciate it.

    your message was in the spam filter and I approved it. With no “duplicate” to send to trash, we’re not sending “:mixed messages” to the software.

    Meanwhile I’m looking for a way of “White listing” regular commentators who get filtered often, while not locking out casual users.

    (note – As DS I may violate the two-post rule when it comes to support issues. I will respect the two posts when talking as an individual, and change the name to “Haniel” to make my opinion clearly different to my actions as tech support for Guy.)

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #94

    Warm, sunny days have
    replaced the usual grey
    of rainy season.

  • GOOD NEWS:

    Use “Ecosia” as your search engine of choice and 80% of all revenues are dedicated to protecting Brazil’s highly imperiled Atlantic rain forrest.

    Also, by simply clicking on “The Rainforest Site” every day you will donate to the purchase and preservation of highly threatened ecosystems.

    I know for a fact that these sites work as The Rainforest Trust receives regular donations from these sites for the acquisition of habitat.

  • I logged in once but now I am logged out and I don’t see where on the main page the login function is? There is a subscribe button but I already did that. So?

  • RE, I do hope you soon cool off about reconsider you decision not to post here anymore. Surely, everyone has had an occasion to get a bit hot under the collar over the response, or lack of response, that their posts have generated here? But, don’t let yourself get run off over but a little dust-up. And, don’t think you can’t subsequently change your mind over a vow that might have been made at the heat of the moment. A lot of us aren’t going to think any less of you should you later change your mind. In any case, thanks for your substantial contributions towards making this a more secure and versatile site.

    BTW – I was going to say that there must be lots of persons that regularly view this site daily that might have agreed with you, but who refrain from commenting. But, I have no idea what the size of that silent potential audience figures of this site might be. Does anyone know?

  • I logged in once but now I am logged out and I don’t see where on the main page the login function is? There is a subscribe button but I already did that. So?

    I added a link to the front page, under “NBL network” – “Reader login”.

  • Dear Doomer Support, I sent you a reply email message yesterday concerning a problem I was having getting registered. Might it have ended up in your junk email folder?

  • Dear Doomer Support, I sent you a reply email message yesterday concerning a problem I was having getting registered. Might it have ended up in your junk email folder?

    Nope, not in my spam box or regular mail. I remember approving the registration and you’re on the approved list. how may I help?

  • Thanks Doomer Support.

    I hope we can resolve the personality differences that cause divisions. So much dislocation to heal. Starting now with us and whomever we cross paths with. Promoting that healing so we are free to do what ever we can seems very important to me.

  • DS,

    I guess that the userid for the forums is different from the userid for this WordPress blog. Clicking on the reader log-in link and entering my forum userid/password doesn’t work.

  • Correct. They are completely different systems, and I back them up separately. The forum contains a backup of the blog and comments, and a place for additional material. It’s not as efficient as a single system, but it is more resilient. As the admin who’d be putting it back together if it got hacked, I prefer resilience. 🙂

    I see you registered here now.

  • @Mr. BellIslander: I view this blog a lot -read most posts. But I don’t often comment.

    @RE: don’t stop commenting or posting here. I would have thought you had a thicker skin by now!

    I am with RE: I don’t quite understand the certainty that the uber-optimists, moderate optimists, and uber-doomers have. I don’t get it, having studied science, and read about the history of science. Every scientific theory is provisional.

    Guy McPherson provides a vitally important perspective, but it is just that -a perspective.
    I’ve noticed a lot of hate directed in the Collapso-sphere towards those who don’t toe the right line: whatever that line, on that particular blog or site happens to be.
    I think we should be beyond that by now.

  • @TIAA – I agree that solving personality conflicts that cause divisions is a primary need for going forward to a happier more functional life together. The failure to learn how to get along peacefully with each other is a root cause of all our problems.

  • RE

    I’m among those who are sorry to see you go, and confirm that some would be respectfully appreciative if you changed your mind. Good luck with your projects. You are very effective on the Diner. I like the idea of trying to unite groups. If I figure a way to comment at the Diner, I’d like to weigh in such a subject now and then.

    The days get longer slowly,
    giving us time to adjust.

  • I don’t know if this news source is at all reliable, but for your info.
    It seems impossible to find out exactly what is happening regarding removal of the fuel rods, etc.

    http://www.turnerradionetwork.com/news

    Persons residing on the west coast of North America should IMMEDIATELY begin preparing for another possible onslaught of dangerous atmospheric radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster site in Japan. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says radioactive steam has suddenly begun emanating from previously exploded nuclear reactor building #3 at the Fukuishima disaster site in Japan. TEPCO says they do not know why this is happening and cannot go into the building to see what’s happening due to damage and lethal radiation levels in that building. Experts say this could be the beginning of a “spent fuel pool criticality (meltdown)” involving up to 89 TONS of nuclear fuel burning up into the atmosphere and heading to North America. Steam photo, full details and suggested methods to protect yourself appear below.

  • ulvfugl- Thanks for letting us know. I’m just glad as hell my son is visiting us from Oceanside, CA. He’ll be here in Florida until 1/20.
    Here in FL we should have plenty of time to fortify our houses until this cloud blows over.

    I’m shaking, but not too surprised. Just worried that it’s the 89 tons of rods starting to burn…

    I always knew, in my gut, since around 1970, that we would do something like this.

  • These seem to be main sources for English-language Fuk.news:
    http://enenews.com/steam-coming-from-fukushima-unit-3-reactor-building-observed-multiple-times-this-week

    http://fukushima-diary.com/
    Tepco PR taking the week off…!

    @u, Hal Turner is an unapologetic neo-Nazi/white power dude, holocaust denier, etc., so take what’s on his site with an appropriately-sized grain of salt.

  • “I’ve noticed a lot of hate directed in the Collapso-sphere towards those who don’t toe the right line: whatever that line, on that particular blog or site happens to be.
    I think we should be beyond that by now.”

    Collapso-sphere? WTFingF!

    I know that I have been a NBL purist, a snob. I really, really liked it here. But I am realizing that lots of newbees are showing up confused and maybe scared. I’m going to back off because I don’t want to drive them away, they should feel welcome.

    I will just say, one last time that I, personally, am completely devoid of hopium. I’m fucking sorry, the data on NTE makes sense to me. I believe that offering any hopium at this stage of the game is not only unrealistic, but cruel. And the rest of you just look silly to me walking around with your little hopium sticks stuck up your asses.

    I’ll be lurking for you…

  • I don’t know if these particular seeds last a thousand years…

    Seeds are not like pebbles. They are metabolically active, although often at a very low level. They take up oxygen and produce carbon dioxide, often in very tiny amounts. They are adapted to survive the environmental conditions of their parent plants.

    For example, seeds of many tropical plants from areas of high rainfall and moderate temperatures cannot survive unless kept moist and warm. Seeds from desert plants can survive drying and heat. Seeds from some temperate and subarctic plants actually need a period of cold temperatures before they can germinate.

    For those with ideas about Homo callidus paucisapiens escaping to space, the NASA astrophysicist and physics professor at San Diego Tom Murphy wrote an enlightening article for his blog Do the Math entitled “Why Not Space?” which should be de rigueur for anyone seriously considering the matter. The article also links to a post to John Michael Greer’s ArchDruid Report on the same topic, also a worthwhile read. Also should be considered the maintenance of an artificial biosphere in space for thousands of years, in light of the miserable failures of both the Russian and the American attempts to maintain a sealed self-sustaining biosphere here on terra firma.

    The first requirement for Deep Space travel is not rocket technology, but an attempt to understand the immensely complex ecosystems of soil with as many as over a billion microbes in tens of thousands of species in a single gram of soil, most of which are known only through their DNA sequences. That is the first step to building a sustainable biosphere.

    We all were Doomers with the advent of agriculture, more so with Industrial Civilisation: a murderer murderer murders, a doomer dooms, as was pointed out on NBL many moons ago. A doomsayer is something else. For those who can recognise it, all members of Industrial Civilisation are doomers.

    Some may have a perspective on the gravity of the situation may not be as extreme as that of others. Such persons are likely to be perceived as having as having an overly sanguine attitude, and are not likely to garner much respect in trying to promote that viewpoint among the more extreme doomsayers. To survive in such an environment requires a carapace like a tortoise. A thin skin is maladaptive not just in such a situation, but everywhere in the coming (End?) Times.

  • @ Lidia

    Thanks.

    I was trying to discover what was happening with removal of Reactor 4 fuel rods. Don’t find anything though.

    Robin Westenra has collected info.

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/the-lifeboat-hour-12292013.html

  • Badlands, I certainly hope no one is judging you! In this culture, with small children, not having some kind of Christmas seems kinda cruel. The beauty of collapse (did I just type those words?) is that we’re liberated from the bullshit and free to make our own way. Instead of denouncing the holiday, re-imagine it. Which it sounds like you did a bit.

    Nathaniel, on a previous thread, asked how to maintain one’s morale in light of collapse. Big question with lots of answers, buddy. Depends upon you…what ignites passion and love within you? Whatever that is is what you might pursue with whatever time we have left.

    Denise….beautiful, as usual.

  • 50 years ago, I tried living in a third world urban complex called a “tenement yard.” A large old house that would originally have been single family in the old urban core is “cut up” into small units, bedrooms without any kind of facilities. Communal latrine with tank on top where you pull the chain. Communal shower(s). Washing in pails from a stand pipe in the yard. Just one. Mostly, or all, women. Someone crawled into my room at night (never occurred to me that it wasn’t a man off the street which the window faced) as I slept off a drunk and stole all my money from my trousers. Probably stole the trousers. Can’t remember. I never really got to know anyone there, or how their lives worked in detail. It must have been hard enough just to keep from being raped and get food to eat. No one had the kind of education, skill, space, time to grow even one thing they could eat. I wonder how many billions live like this, or in even more dire urban conditions, today? It seems that refugee camps are even worse, although they are built on that model. They are growing exponentially.

    Oz Man

    Been meaning to comment. But this isn’t quite it now. Just a word of encouragement. Nice blog. Best of luck to you.

  • @wildwoman, “liberated from the bullshit”… indeed! But only to the extent our courage allows and/or it works out to be psychologically and socially a good strategy, I am finding. I gave away pretty much all my Xmas decorations this year, whew! We have a string of lights up, though, so we ‘fit in’ superficially. Don’t worry, they are “green” LED lights (she said, mordantly).

    Calling out the BS, unfortunately, can get you in real trouble, and you can walk a very fine line even in the most low-key circumstances. I’ve already accrued black marks and earned a visit from a completely ineffectual social worker because of (what I thought were) casual personal conversational comments (having nothing to do with my mom’s care) made to the private-but-paid-by-Medicare doc visiting her. So now, somewhere out there, there’s a Report on me. Like the school system, the medical industry is now very afraid of anything that threatens order and compliance. It’s quite stunning how they mobilize to CYA / preserve the cash flow.

  • To RE (and the Light Brigade)
    First my congratulations for your essay.
    I gives a good, and in depth, view of how you see things about NTE.
    It has taken me a while to get to understand what makes you different from “traditional NBL Doomers”.
    I guess most of us are “Uber doomers” as you say.
    I will talk only for myself, but probably in many ways, what I will say is valid for the “NBL community”.
    I have very much the same perceptions that Guy McPherson shows whenever he speaks or writes, that is why I follow his blog, and listen to what he has to say. I feel some community about the perception of NTE, and in general about how things are unfolding.
    I do not pretend to be better than others, nor different. I am just what I am.
    I value the possibility of sharing my feelings about this so complex moments when everything is happening, and at the same time nothing is happening, with a community that feels and see things very much the same way I do, with differences that I value. We have to add to this the fact that people of the kind NBL Doomers is a minor fraction of population, everywhere in the world. We are totally alone, even within our families. This community makes me feel in some way understood, but there is room for discrepancies.
    I accept that it is too late for changing the course of things, but that does not mean that I am going to do nothing and fall in desperation. Contrary, I will wait calmed to see how things unfold, and with enough evidence at hand, decide what to do. In the mean time I will enjoy the simple things that nature offers, everyday, because sooner or later, they will certainly be gone.
    I can see that the world we are about to live, is beyond the imagination of the best and creative Sci-Fi writer you can find. For good or bad. We cannot be prepared for the unknown, that is why I believe that preppers will fail in their purposes.
    I accept that we are done, I accept that it is too late for the changes required.
    I accept that the times ahead are unpredictable. Because is a totally new phenomena. Something never seen before by humans.
    And because each one of us live a different reality, there is no reason to give recipes. At most share some perceptions.

    I suppose that this in some manner calmed way of seeing things comes in part with the years, I am 53, but that necessarily combined with a certain state of maturity about life. I have experienced many things, I have well done many things, but failed in many others. I have taken lessons from my mistakes. I have lived with uncertainty for decades. I have become convinced that whatever I have to do in the incoming years, is related with the others, not only about me. As Guy McPherson says, in the end, only love remains. Great essay by the way, through different ways, I have ended reaching the same conclusion.

    So I guess what makes a difference with other doomers, is my age, maturity and experience. Ten years younger makes a big difference. At my thirties and forties, I was so immature, made so many mistakes. Usually things were much harder and complicated than thought. I keep on making mistakes, but much less. What I have learnt is mainly that a good plan requires a lot of information, and a big lot of analysis, otherwise, I am sure that It will fail, more sooner than later.
    You seem to me too simplistic, and that is why you are not doomerish enough. More Doomerish means to consider more factors, more situations, be more truly realistic. To wear more scars resulting from the battles fought in life.
    If you consider more things, and the most probably situations and scenarios, many of your proposals will fail. A good example is your proposal about the Marianas Trench, and idea without any detail consideration of the real situation. The SUN project seems to me also too optimistic, still too simplistic (at this stage of the concept). But it is your will, you are free to go. Because in the end you are free to do whatever you feel is the right thing. It is your life, your time, your energy. And because nobody holds the truth about this.
    I respect and value your attitude.

  • “Some may have a perspective on the gravity of the situation (that) may not be as extreme as that of some others.”

    I hope that a cultic atmosphere does not settle on this small corner of the blogosphere that would exclude all but the purest of NTE believers. I value the learning experience that I have had here, and would like to welcome others to come and share their ideas in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual acceptance, that would not exclude the expression of criticism, but in the spirit of friendly advice, rather than superior judgmentalism. Newcomers willingness to share and ask questions should be encouraged rather made the target of snide put-downs. I think Guy has provided an example of openness and tolerance of diversity by refusing to censor stuff that some other blog masters might. I marvel at his ability to put up with one commenter’s persistent quibbling over Guys’s air travel.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #95

    Here are the feet and
    hands; ears and eyes; voice and heart –
    of that which lives life.

  • Dear Kirk Hamilton,

    Have you considered that if you are enamored of hope or offended by hope you are stuck with hope? Love it, hate it. It is what is. Some of us, like me, hear that word and don’t take it seriously. It has lost it’s meaning. The system of illusion is failing in some of us and we like it. It is cleansing and freeing. That is what we can do at least to honor life. See it again, beyond what you are conditioned to seeing. It will be a great way to die or live. The only way I think.

    Love to all.

    Oh and Doomer support, looks like when we log on to read comments we get to multi- task with an awesome interview with Guy in the back ground?

  • @RE

    ‘I may not agree with you
    but I defend your right to write it here’

    you seem like a good guy

  • Dang, thepodcast of the interview with Guy stopped playing as soon as I commented. A link please Doomer Support. And did I say you guys and gals are awesome yet today? You are.

  • My $0.02, in 17 syllables:

    Dude, it’s not napalm.
    You might try wearing flip-flops-
    the sand is just hot.

  • Well, well, well, file this under “not surprised”. It seems that much of the work being done at Fukushima is by homeless men who are earning about $6 an hour. Most of the wages designated for laborers is being skimmed by various “sub” contractors. It does not inspire confidence that homeless men are going to follow the appropriate safety and ecological protocols to keep the hot materials from further spreading and contamination.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/29/japan-homeless-fukushima-clean-up_n_4516705.html

  • Thanks, Lidia, for the caution re the Med profession. I might have tried to inveigle a little humanity out of some docs, but your warning provides a needed constraint.

    Godolfredo

    Since you, like me, have plenty south-of-the-border experience, I value your thoughts. You hit the nail on the head about RE’s oversimplifying. Unfortunately, he tends to take criticism as a personal attack rather than as something to learn from.
    ————-

    I’m starting to think of “science” in a new way. If science is about the observation and testing of phenomena, where does it draw the line on what it excludes?

    Isn’t it scientific to be observant and analytical about everything, including the humanities, including the way average people live, including “hopium,” etc.?

    I like that Guy’s determination as to inevitable doom is presented, albeit unwaveringly, in such a gentle way. But while there is scholarship and the ability to observe, measure communicate, question, why aren’t the forces and attitudes leading to NTE not being scrupulously observed and reported rather than only being seen as game over? Not that game isn’t over. But while science is rigorously going to the physical causes of extinction, why isn’t it equally focused on the behaviors that are equally involved?

    There is little doubt that most people are not literate about the hard sciences that address physical phenomena. But wouldn’t they be interested in the social sciences that address their parents and children? Can’t true science be relevant to ordinary people when it focuses on their everyday lives? So the academy can’t and won’t go there en mass, but some parts of it might. And with so many smart non-professionals around, why can’t they be taught to observe and record in new ways that help fill in the gaps?

  • We are totally alone, even within our families.

    As long as one perceives “others” there is not total aloneness. When the “I” is recognised for what it is, a fictitious entity, a phantasm, an apparition, the “me” becomes everything: including not jus the body-mind complex, but also every rock and clod of dirt. The technical term for it is “sarvatma bhava”. One is reminded of it in the Buddhist tradition, at the time when Siddhartha Gautama became a Buddha, and looked up at the morning star and said to himself “My Realisation was completed with the Realisation of the first Buddha, and will be completed only with the Realisation of the last blade of grass”.

  • Progressing, the swamp gets deeper and thicker. The muck smellier. Each step more tiresome, more depressing, the resisting suction gets stronger. Caught like a fly on flypaper, first a foot, then a wing… another fly lands next to you… it happens to them. We’re all caught in the mess, fervently fighting to get ‘away’… the bolder the struggle, the deeper the trap. Sinking into the quicksand faster with every involuntary tremble and sigh. Every tenth of a cent of ‘growth’, every birth, every ounce of CO2, every ‘disposable’ gadget and toy, every ‘happy’ meal, every twist of highway in the rear view mirror gone forever. Gliding past dead trees and road kill and destitute desperadoes. Fukushima steam bath too hot, too critically hot for gasping Gila monsters. The nervous permafrost farts. A buzzing fly bounces off the window, it hasn’t read the paper yet. Panting wild dogs drinking from fracked evaporation ponds, drinking deadly algae overgrowths, drinking to get drunk. Blue babies from heavy nitrogen septic groundwater… flush the toilet… it goes ‘away’… doesn’t it? Out of sight, out of our minds, noisy downtown street party passengers don’t care, the people on TV don’t care, the politicians don’t care, the preachers don’t care, the folks cheering up in the bleachers don’t care, plenty of meatheads just don’t care. Don’t care enough to know. Don’t know enough to care. So I sit here, on the flypaper wall, timely progressing, in conformance, completely stuck.

  • ..presentation by Jacob “@ioerror” Applebaum at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (30C3) four day event in which he is discussing the extensive surveillance state that exists in the world today.

    http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/jacob-ioerror-applebaum-at-30c3-to-protect-and-infect-part-2/

  • Very similar to my take 😉

    Here’s what I’ve been stewing over lately: http://theoverthinker.org/were-going-to-nuke-ourselves-into-oblivion-heres-how/

    I really hope I’m wrong, but I’m fighting to win anyway 😉

  • Just to re-iterate my position:
    This planet likely never wanted to play host to a ‘biosphere’
    Either:
    A) The planet is biocidal. Human civilisation is it’s method of biocide.
    or:
    B) The biosphere is suicidal. Human civilisation is it’s method of suicide.

    In either case, human civilisation is built on the foundation of deliberate maladaption to sustainable existence. The only reason humans have big brains is because they need to work at cross-purposes- to unconsciously orchestrate the complex task of ending all life on Earth, whilst constantly maintaining the rationalisations that make it possible to believe that civilisation has any other raison d’etre. The fact that we have reached a late stage of this process explains why everything we do is ‘exactly wrong’. What is the ecological footprint of a symphony, or the bible? For that matter, what is the ecological footprint of ecological footprint accounting?

  • Will the time come when we dig our own graves and have them ready in the back yard?

    http://survivalacres.com/blog/time-cry/#more-6397

  • 18000days; “What is the ecological footprint of a symphony, or the bible?
    For that matter, what is the ecological footprint of ecological footprint accounting?”

    The ecological footprint of this blog …????

    … me asking & asking about it?

    Flying to Guatemala round trip from Dallas = a minimum of six tons of CO2.

    S = k.log W

  • Happy New Year to everyone here!:

    Guy McPherson, ulvfugl, Denise, Cathy C (I miss you), Gail, kevin moore, badlands, Artleads, Kirk, Gerald, RE, Overthinker, logspirit, 18000days, Robin Datta, coyoteyogi, Friedrich Kling, TIAA, mt, Godofredo, Lidia, Benjaminthedonkey, mike k, Lidia, Henry, Bob S., wildwoman, xraymike79, Tony, Publius, and everyone else who reads this site, comments or not: may the collapse be gentle on you all this year.

  • @ Gerald Spezio

    Apparently the footprint of Bitcoin is equivalent to the island of Cyprus, and growing.

    @ Tom

    Yes, best wishes to everyone, fwiw… seems to me entirely arbitrary whether it’s a 3 or a 4, but some people think it matters 🙂

    Special thanks to Guy, and to RE and Haniel for getting this site to work so well.

  • artleads; your spirited defense of the “possibility” of genuine social science above is right out of Marvin Harris’s playbook.

    You will love it.

    http://sustainedaction.org/Explorations/critique_of_phenomenology%20as%20obscurantism.htm

  • With thanks to RE for his essay and his many contributions to this site, I’ve posted a new guest essay. It’s here.

  • @Tom: “May the collapse be gentle on you all this year.”

    Thanks, Tom, for your kind and appropriately doomerish sentiment.

    @U: Thanks for the wolf blessing – an arrow to the heart back atya!

    Love, gratitude, and big cowgirl hugs to all y’all Beach bunnies- with special thanks to Guy.

    Peace

  • @ Gerald Spezio

    Whilst Harris makes valid and interesting and well-argued points, what he doesn’t understand, (and what you do not understand), is that he wants to privilege a left brain understanding of being and of the world, and he regards that as superior and he regards any right brain understanding as obscurantist, because it does not comply with his own analytical predeliction.

    This is the standard division throughout Western culture at the moment. It prevails across the board, amongst all classes and all levels of soceity, causing endless friction and misunderstanding.

    There is, however, a superior position, when one harmonises and unifies the two brain hemispheres, transcending this ridiculous and unnecessary conflict.

    http://www.iainmcgilchrist.com/The_Master_and_his_Emissary_by_McGilchrist.pdf

  • Peace and light to all on the eve of 2014. What a time we live in!

    Wow, ulvfugl, those wolves! As kids, we had the pleasure and awe of watching our wolf/dog dig a massive den in our yard for her pups. I will never forget that.

    18000days, the ecological footprint of the bible must include all that has been perpetrated in it’s name. I’m guessing that vast footprint is the size of galaxies, too large for this little planet to contain.

    “Growing Up”

    One of my wings beat faster,
    I couldn’t help it-
    the one away from the light.

    It hurt to be told all the time
    how I loved that terrible flame.

    ~William Stafford

    And, continuing on the river theme: https://youtu.be/ctyn47bK8tU

  • Lydia, I suspect more and more of us will find black marks on our permanent record for talking back. Not exactly what you are experiencing, but apparently there is some rulebook somewhere about what we can think and say.

    As we await the arrival of 2014, I salute my fellow doomers here on this beach. It’s gonna get really interesting!

  • Yeah, I can only echo Tom’s sentiment to anyone reading or posting, since he’s found such a diplomatic way of phrasing it!
    I’ve been here less than a year-I can think of a few names who used to post regularly that are seldom heard from now, if at all: Kathy C, BtD, Daniel, MoFlow, Paul Chefurka, Rob@library… Hope they are doin’ alright, (if that is what they want to be doin’)

    And thanks to RE/DS and anyone else involved for all their efforts. If I finally got an embedded video in a post, rest assured it wasn’t through my own skill- I reckon they must have set it up so a link to a video turns into an ’embed’ automatically… although that doesn’t seem to have happened with Badlands link?

    @Badlands/Gerald Spezio re the bible:

    Exactly. Personally I’d be interested just to see the millenial mountain of timber that’s been pulped to print the fucker, not that any of us really get to deny our culpability in such enterprises… a phrase about sin and casting stones comes to mind.. dunno where it came from?.. 😉