The End of the World: A Drama in Verse

Twelve original poems by Jason Frank

COBBLESTONES

I don’t know, but I’ve been told
The streets in Heaven are paved with gold.
They wrote that in the Holy Writ
When Italy was paved with shit,
Mud and blood and bricks and bones.
Now it’s mainly cobblestones.
How hard, I wonder, could it be
To conjure up Eternity
Beyond the reach of urban sprawl?
My Heaven has no streets at all.

PROMETHEUS

Around our light a little moth
Went straight from his cocoon,
Circulating in a swath
As men once did the Moon.

I think they think electric lamps
Are patterns in the sky,
And so the tragic little tramps
Get lost and wonder why.

At any rate, they view our race
As terribly titanic—
Lords of Earth & Outer Space;
And when we swat, they panic.

I wish they knew the truth of it:
That we were merely elves,
Kinetic tricksters tightly-knit
In orbit round ourselves.

He’d ask me where Polaris went
And (if I might remark)
I’d say we flood the Firmament
Because we fear the dark.

BLACK AND SILVER RIPPLES OF THE SEA

(The Turn of the Century, Volume I)

It is said the musicians aboard
The Titanic acted purely on instinct.
They had plenty of time to pack up
Their violins, bid the piano farewell
And join the dampened aristocrats,
Yet each went down with the ship—
Not as fraternal fanatics who pledge
Allegiance to broad steel planks,
But a priesthood of condolences,
Improvising a requiem.

There would’ve been a moment,
A pinnacle of harmony perfected
At the summit of fatal suspension,
When starlight waltzed upon
Black and silver ripples of the sea—
And that stubborn vessel
Swollen with decadence
Might’ve appeared from the lifeboats
As crisp as an ivory gull—
As if Earth herself had written
A poem, and Blake had engraved it—
And there, riddled with iron splinters,
A whale rising to breathe
Might’ve suddenly succumbed to
The bittersweet sorcery of Bach,
Squinting beneath his barnacle crown—
And the music would’ve lit the Moon,
When all at once the Twentieth
Century bowing to the iceberg
Paid its debt to gravity
And went screaming
Into the abyss.

ALL IS VANITY

Jesus said to His
Disciples: Necessity
Was the Mother of
All Invention till
Satan fell and got a job
In advertising.

TABULA RASA

(The Turn of the Century, Volume II)

Mining catharsis
From canyons of steel, it was
Clear (despite the smoke)
This one smoldering
Laboratory would prove
Some experiments
Are worth failing for.
By the rocket’s red glare we
Made our solemn vow:
Recharge the machines
And refuel with a vengeance,
Inhale sweet exhaust—
Lay bare thy candied
Lungs to quicksilver incense
And vapors of light!

Christmas comes early
With American Express,
Bright Age of Mirrors—
The slate will be cleaned;
A Millennium is born!
The anthill survives:
Full-throttle wireless
Handheld high-definition
Neon corn syrup—
Super Bowl Sunday,
Virtual flavor-crystals
And the Bill of Rights.

Think thoughts if you must,
But they’ve tested the water.
The water is fine.

THE FERTILE CRESCENT

“It’s coming home to die,” I thought,
The scourge of all Creation—
Limping through the wrinkled rot
Of man’s imagination—
Stumbling; slouching, if you will—
A schizophrenic Beast
With long-predicted blood to spill
Across the Middle-East.

Like salmon from the ocean
Gone to spawn in winding rivers,
A strange, magnetic motion
Grips the soldier while he quivers:
Drained of precious fluids
Now he cries out for his mother—
While congressmen, like druids,
Bow their heads to one another.

The salmon lays her eggs and dies.
The circle won’t be broken.
She gives her flesh to fertilize
The forest as a token.

The cedar trees of Lebanon
Grew once as thick as wheat—
And lavender in Babylon,
Where ferns would brush your feet.
Perhaps the planet wants them back
And hence, the mad propulsion—
Flipping through the almanac
Of suicide’s compulsion.

We made this desert, after all,
To satisfy our Bronze.
One day the Pyramids may fall
While Krakatoa yawns.

FUKUSHIMA

(The Reckoning)

Chicken of the Sea
On kamikaze currents
Coming home to roost:
Winter curdles to
A noxious Equinox, but
Hey—my phone still works!

I should say something
About cherry blossoms, but
Modern poetry
Belongs in the root
Cellar, down among these dead
Potatoes reaching
With pale, desperate eyes
For a light once rumored to
Pierce the limestone wall.

Old habits die hard—
A stray cat licking his wounds,
Blood on the pitchfork.
Tradition prevails,
Thou slayer of whales—eat your
Sushi, samurai.

THE EARTH AT NIGHT

How fierce and pestilent it seems,
When captured from a satellite—
This rash of incandescent dreams
Across the fevered Earth at night!

Old enemies who radiate
In ultraviolet unity
Have risen to inoculate
The darkness with impunity.

The Marxist and the Monarchist
Affirm at once their dedication
To the Fiber-Optic Fist
Of humanistic inflammation—
Behold! The bright sardines atwitter
In their cubicles congealed
With a glut of global glitter
Have ironically revealed
East and West, like Yin and Yang
Resplendent in their civic pride—
Sending spiders out to hang
Atomic webs a world-wide!

With peace like this, who needs a war?
All nations are imperial.
The suburbs are a mildew spore.
The citizens—bacterial.

But who am I to fuss and frown?
We nature poets haven’t time
To put our walkie-talkies down,
Or even try to make it rhyme.

THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

(The Turn of the Century, Volume III)

I dreamt of something lovely
In a naughty sort of way—
A stately, pillared palace
Underneath a brackish bay
Where alabaster balconies
Embossed a battered reef
With strange, exotic figures
In precision-carved relief.

You’d think it was Atlantis
By the architecture’s look,
For barnacles encrusted
Every crevice, crack, and crook.
But no, it was a vision!—
Mother Nature would arrange
For bottom-feeding slugs to eat
The New York Stock Exchange!

______________

Jason Frank is a small-scale organic farmer, hunter, and bird-watcher
from Minnesota. He was kicked out of college for telling a politically
incorrect joke. He realized the world was about to end in 2007. Nobody
wants to publish his poems.

____________

Straight Talk About Climate Change, Thursday, 6 February 2013, 7:00 p.m., West End Cultural Centre, 586 Illice Avenue at Sherbrook, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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

The Next Step: Living Courageously in a World of Transition, a 7-day seminar, 24-31 May 2014, Moho Creek, Belize, Central America. I will be included with an otherwise-excellent group of facilitators for this remarkable one-week experience.

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

Comments 79

  • Something that got lost in the timewarp on the last thread, so some folks may have missed it:

    The last candle burns as the last humans celebrate… the last candle burning. Frivolous as the last light burns smoky low, flip flop careless as forgotten flower petals swirling in the wind. I try again to seduce nature… to extend my weakening embrace… She loves me, She loves me not. The petals fall. Cut off from the nurturing root. Trapped in the artificial built environment, seeking some kind of cozy for the last moments, warming hands over the last flickering flame, inside a box well removed… far outside… far beyond the entirety of the alien external world… where nature’s last stand falters, but not to my serenade. The petals fall, pulled off one by one. Ring around the rosy. Pockets full of posies. The people all stare into cold screens filled with cold type and cold colors that cannot be touched or tasted or licked. Cannot be sniffed for a telltale scent of life. The dog wisely ignores the mirage and ponders the sanity of his humans celebrating the dying ember without a thought of what happens next. Ashes, ashes… A cold shiver creeps up from my gnawing empty belly, my trembling hands reach but feel nothing out there in the cold darkness. All fall down… Feeling almost nothing inside that resembles the warmth of love. The flame extinguishes. The loudest silence I ever heard. Then… not knowing I was ever here at all.

  • Dear Jason, I just read your poems out loud to my husband. They are beautiful and will stay with me for a long time. Thank you!

  • Oh, yes! I LIKE this contribution! Esp “All is Vanity”, but they all are spot on, like Denise’s haiku, and BtD’s limericks (why don’t you post here anymore, Benjamin?)

  • With the internet, it’s not necessary for anyone to want to publish your poems, only someone who wants to read them, and even that is not necessary.

    From NBL Aug 2007:

    “Peak oil spells the end of civilization. Runaway greenhouse spells the end of humanity.”

    “Again, you could argue — and I would agree — that civilization is inherently unsustainable, and that we can approach sustainability only by accelerating civilization’s ultimate collapse and forcing us back into the sustainable societies of the Stone Age.”

    “Many experts who write about simply one of these issues — Peak Oil — predict complete economic collapse within a decade, followed shortly thereafter by utter chaos and the subsequent death of more than 80% of the world’s population.”

    That was August 2007. “within a decade” means sometime before 2017.

    Climate chaos exasperated by population overshoot will lead to economic collapse.

    Just sitting on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • The itching of my brain
    while circling the drain
    is the constant nagging fear
    as extinction gallops near
    the speed of NTE
    isn’t fast enough for me.
    Don’t think that I am ghoulish,
    morbid, nihilistic or foolish
    But once imagining the end of time
    to die before then would be a crime.
    I can’t believe this is on my lips
    But what’s the delay, Apocalypse?

  • @Grant S. – It’s in the nature of the Apocalypse to be delayed, apparently. It has been that way ever since anyone can remember. The darn thing just can’t seem to be on time. An interesting speculation as to why this has been so is in the link below, which also includes some ideas on how not to be swept up in a doomsday cult.
    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/

  • Excellent work, Jason! I will go back an re-read these a number of times, and will certainly gain some new insight every time. Some are funny, others tragically sad, and all are very clever.

    There must be a small publisher who will publish this — though Pat’s probably correct that if you want it read, the internet certainly can get your work out there. I expect a small, alternative publisher would be willing to help you get your work printed, though.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking read — and the re-reads yet to come.

  • 2nd Post:

    Let it be known all here at NBL: I MISS BENJAMIN the DONKEY!!!

    I do sincerely hope he is well and that he will join us here again, soon.

  • @ mike k

    Thanks. I found the article you linked to very compelling. I had not read anything by Greer before. I’d like to take another look at the article, and check this writer out a bit more.

  • @ mike k, artleads

    I suggest you are both far better suited to Greer’s blog than you are to being here, on all counts. Greer does not accept NTE, which is the fundamental premise of this blog, and he and his followers live in historical fantasies and denial, which should suit you both fine.

    I mean, mike k believes it’s ‘the nature of apocalypse to be delayed’ and hasn’t noticed we are in it yet, and artleads thinks that the cold in the USA ‘buys us some time’, although HOW, and time for whom, to do what, when, and why, I’m certain he has not the slightest idea… so go and sign up as druids fellas, JMG believes you’ve got centuries ahead of you.

  • @BVinVT

    “Let it be known all here at NBL: I MISS BENJAMIN the DONKEY!!!”

    Perhaps you can visit the
    website and join him there.

  • Mike k: Oh, I was just going off in rhyming couplets because I could. Not in any hurry to witness the death of everything, not in any rush to be taking the long dirt nap. Christianity is a doomsday cult. Accepting NTE is a state of mind. Gallows humor is my default mode, given the end of the world or not.

  • cushngtree and BVinVT, thank you so very much!

    After LATOC, I got confused posting at more than one place because I’d forget who said what where (and each place was in a slightly different bag), and then I’d wander around from time to time. I still read NBL and several other sites daily, but I just can’t handle being active in too many places at once. I mainly post at the same place as the conversation which inspires a limerick, with some limited crossposting. However, I do put up something new at my blog every third day.

    This might sound like a lot of excuses, but at 71, as HAL famously said, “My mind is going. I can feel it.”

    So thanks again, I will continue to enjoy the posts here, and the very best of luck to all of us!

  • @Grant S. – Thanks for the clarification. Given the depressing character of what we are considering here, occasional thoughts re: self deliverance would not be totally unexpected. Glad to hear you are thinking of being with us for a while longer.

    @Ulvfugl – From my first times on this blog I have heard calls for what amounts to a loyalty test confirming one’s total acceptance of NTE. Along with this, and recently, I hear calls to purge the site of unbelievers, and those holding any views that could be construed to be religious or spiritual. These demands are of course the foundation upon which cults are built. I have been part of (but never a member of) a large variety of groups for over fifty years of my searching and practicing. I have not ever encountered a group that did not manifest the seeds of a desire for group think and conformity. Those seeds did not always sprout into the full scale cultic phenomenon, but they were always there nevertheless. I commend Guy in that so far he has backed off his gesture to restrict speech here to a secular only perspective. I think his experience as a creative and nonconformist teacher has stood him in good stead in this matter. It is often not the founder of a group that initiates the turn towards cultism, but the followers who want it, and move to make it happen. A good leader imo will notice this unhealthy atmosphere is arising, and refuse to support it. I say all this in a spirit of hoping the discussion here will continue to be open to a wide variety of ideas and viewpoints. My intention is not to point a finger at any individual, but just to bring up this concern to the loose-knit group gathering around this precious fire.

  • @Artleads – I hope you do not consider u’s invitation to exit seriously. From what you have shared, I am actually sure you won’t split. It’s a common tendency of fundamentalists of all stripes to consider their worldview to be the only reality, and anything else to be fantasy and delusion. I read/study widely myself, and don’t like to be cramped or expected to accept dogmatic pronouncements.

  • @ mike k

    From my first times on this blog I have heard calls for what amounts to a loyalty test confirming one’s total acceptance of NTE.

    No you have NOT. You’ve heard appeals from the people who value this space as the space to discuss NTE, being allowed to keep this space as the space to discuss NTE, and not be overwhelmed by people like you and Artleads who have no idea what this space is about. There are zillions of other blogs and forums where people who want to discuss survival options and other shades of collapse, hopium, whatever, are welcome.

    This has been explained to both you and Artleads REPEATEDLY.

    Along with this, and recently, I hear calls to purge the site of unbelievers, and those holding any views that could be construed to be religious or spiritual. These demands are of course the foundation upon which cults are built.

    More bullshit. John Greer accused this site of being a cult. People like you and Datta make it sound like a cult because you insist upon introducing your twaddle. If you go top right you will see Guy McPherson’s Climate Summary. That is the basis of this blog. That is drawn from reputable accepted scientific sources. That is what makes this blog different to any religious cult.

    There is no loyalty test to be here, there isn’t even any consensus here, but generally, people here have listened to Guy’s talks and understood what he’s saying and have a good understanding of the subject matter. If you and Artleads don’t understand the difference between Guy’s position and Greer’s position, then perhaps you need to educate yourselves and get better informed.

  • Cheers for the poetry. Much needed in these dark days unfolding.

    @Artleads

    Tread lightly when reading Greer.

    From what I’ve seen you’ve been on this blog at least as long as I’ve been (almost a year) so I was rather surprised to read you’d never heard of Greer and his site or read anything by him. Especially with all the hoopla after the AofL conference and how Greer responded to NTE (before the event) and how Greer’s presentation was awfully disrespectful of Guy himself.

    There was much conversation on the blogs about how Greer seems to not understand the science (which is a conclusion I came to last year listening to him at AofL). He does not fully understand what is occurring. Perhaps his ailment prevents him from grasping the finer points of the situation.

    There was another climate scientist who posts on Peak Prosperity in the audience. What did he say to Guy after the presentation. “If I believed in what you said I would go home and lie on a bed holding my daughter tight to me.” He also said, “I can find nothing wrong with the information you are reporting.”

    Talk about cognitive dissonance. But he was being honest. Found nothing wrong with the information and yet couldn’t believe the conclusion reached by Guy. The only conclusion I came to is that is is not much of a scientist if he can’t report objectively without putting aside his daughter in the conclusions he’s coming to.

    This does not meant that those without children would be any more objective, but having an offspring does change the situation. Similar statements were made last August in Australia by Paul Ehrlich and Corey Bradshaw when both were on a panel.

    Ehrlich said he has to believe we have a 10% chance to get through this because he has a grandchild. Bradshaw has a young child. Both Ehrlich and Bradshaw are now proponents of Nuclear power. Ehrlich believes we’ll have fusion soon. Bradshaw said, “How many people died at Fukishima? Answer: No one died on the day of the accident. Conclusion: Nuclear is safe.” And this guy has a PHd and a child. Yet, he discounts deaths following the accident. What type of logic is this.

    Greer seems to be using a past to project into a future. A past and a planet (according to McKibben himself) that really does not apply to the present or future. At the AofL he made continuous points about how we (men/women) are full of hubris in believing we could bring have such a great impact on the planet to bring it to the point of apocalypse. Yet that is exactly what I see happening as I read reports from Desdemona and SeeMoreRocks.

    An important point to note about Greer is although he talks a great deal about the importance of dissonance he welds a heavy club on his site. I believe he prevent Gail and others to express themselves in the public forum. If you take a look at the list of pieces on collapseofindustrialcivilization for 2013 there is a piece by Mike about Greer and his response to NTE which I found to be well thought out and written. There is one particular link from a woman who keep copies of the comments Greer blocked as containing foul language and rude (neither of which came across to me).

    @Mike K

    Have you seen the video of Jeremy Jackson about Ocean Apocalypse? It appears that shifting baselines (which seems to happen when people don’t know the past) is a huge roadblock to understanding where we stand on the beach. It’s why when Tony (an NBL poster) dismisses a decrease in plankton of 50% as something not to be concerned about (because of Dave Cohen) I shake my head in puzzlement. This thinking process is an example of the exponential growth example of the population in a petri dish doing nothing at 50%, but only freaking out with only 30 seconds left (and being crushed against the edge of the dish) they finally decide now is the time to deal with the problem.

    Greer is entitled to his opinion. So far the Climate Summary piece (which is constantly being updated) seems to show us that all projections of climate problems only for the offspring of breeders was wrong. All reports to pass on the difficulties to next generations were wrong. It’s our problem. Right here. Right now.

    Just think. We haven’t really it 1 degree C yet and look at the events of the last year. Just imagine when we really hit the hockey stick curve.

    So far no sign of any negative feedback loops on my horizon. Just call me Dr. Doom (you know the Jack Kirby Fantastic Four creation (forget the guy named Lee who keeps popping out from behind the curtain). No sign of Dr. Manhattan (an Alan Moore character based on Captain Atom) showing up any time soon to fix this dilemma.

    Global Warming. Not here in the Northern hemisphere. Yet, what about the other half of the globe. Hey those Brazilians sure had a hot time in town without electricity. And that happened pretty quick. Yeah pretty quick. Those Australians are burning up with wildfires and all those bats dying down yonder.

    That’s the sad part. We are going to take all the other species out. We’re not going to do a damm thing to leave anything for them. We’re going to watch as each and every species is extinct and then it will be to our offspring as if those who remember are talking about the dinosaurs. You know the way Edward G. Robinson used to tell Charlton Heston about what Earth used to be like. Heston was bored to tears and didn’t believe until he saw the videos showing when Robinson choose to turn himself into food. You think young people today are any different.

    In all your years on the planet have you ever seen events like this in such rapid succession? I sure haven’t. Imagine on the East coast of USA we’re going from lows of 9 to highs of 50’s in 7 days. And again we don’t have an ice free arctic yet and we’ve yet to officially hit 1 degree.

    I still find it odd that people who are probably not reading this blog mention the word extinction. Chris Hedges and Roseanne. Sadly this week Thom Hartman went back into denial when he interviewed a “Green” developer in CO about all the new homes he’s building. Of course this guy proudly said how he had three children.

    So in the words of JMG where 2013 is the new 2012 perhaps JMG could write a piece as to how the new 2 is 3 (as in how many children people seem to have).

  • @PMB – I hope you don’t buy into Ulvfugl’s outlandish version of my comments, which actually comments bear little resemblance to his characterizations. I have stated repeatedly that I think there is a very good chance of NTE within the next 50 years. When U gave his time estimate it allowed out to 150 years or so. I don’t quite see how he has made me a NTE denier on that basis. I think he has become a bit emotional and irrational in our interchanges, which I have done my best to mollify, but only with some degree of success. I am not a combative person as a rule, and seek to make peace wherever possible, but of course some folks can be hard to achieve that with.

    I am not a fan or follower of JMG, and have experienced his low tolerance of criticism in trying to comment on his blog for myself. I am also quite critical of some of his positions. Nevertheless I have learned some things from him, as I have even from Ulvfugl. My project is to learn as much as I can about our situation from whatever sources I can. I am not interested in endless petty arguments with anyone, nor am I trying to convince or persuade anyone of any certain point of view. I consider myself to be a student, not a teacher. Least of all would I ever try to convert someone to some spiritual doctrine or belief; I am not a member of any organized faith or spiritual system, and have complete respect for anyone holding an atheist or agnostic or Zoroastrian belief – or whatever! Go in peace on your own ways brother and sisters, or if those designations offend you just be your own damn selves! OK?
    Thanks for your intelligent comments PMB.

  • Proud to say that I’ve had my comments censored by JMG. Orlov, too. They run their blogs to further whatever agenda it is that they have, as is their right. JMG is a one-trick pony, imho. He’s wedded to his ‘triangulation’ idea, as I call it: the notion that things will always follow some middle path. It’s inconceivable to him that something might actually be behind door number one or door number two and not door number three, as though it were valuable to posit 1+1 equalling neither 2 nor 3, but 2.5.

    The child thing is bizarre. Charles Eisenstein just mentioned his fourth(!) new child. Something about this borders on child abuse; it’s definitely odd in my book.

    On NTE permeating into the mainstream. Just got sent an issue of the NYRB with TWO (count ’em, two) NTE-friendly pieces: one, a book review entitled “After You’ve Gone” on “Death and the Afterlife” by Samuel Scheffler, exploring things like why it matters to us that humanity continues after our death; two, “They Covered the Sky, and Then…”: “A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction” by Joel Greenberg and “Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record” by Errol Fuller

    People are starting to connect the dots.

  • I met with Judith Haran today, plus a friend of hers and two NBL’ers from VT and NH who have been following but not commenting for quite a while. We had a stimulating and overall quite pleasant (strange to say) discussion. This was the first time I had talked openly about NTE with anyone other than my husband. I was surprised how easy it was to publicly come out of the closet, as it were. Judith pointed out that—like the statistics for those who write letters on a matter—for everyone one who is visibly out there, there are probably 100 who ‘know’ but just aren’t saying anything.

    The discussion was pretty free-wheeling, and we didn’t come to any grand conclusions other than to say that we all felt the contact was valuable, and that we wanted to try to meet again in some fashion. I think we were all feeling each other out and it was a good introduction. Everyone reported failures and some limited successes in dialogs with others on the topic. One thing I wanted to relate at the lunch, but didn’t get a chance to, was a comment by Nicole Foss recently (on the ExtraEnvironmentalist podcast) to the effect that those urging action and/or awareness have only a small window of opportunity to reach folks: if the crisis is on the horizon, people will blow you off as being crazy; if the cracks are starting to show and they are questioning, the time is ripe; if things have gotten too far gone, then no one is able or willing to chat because they are too busy just trying to survive.

    Judith may try to get Carolyn Baker to come and speak in New England if she can round up enough interest. One of the other attendees assured her of interest and may have a meeting space he can offer, so stay tuned to this channel if you live in our area and find the grief-processing aspects sometimes featured on NBL to be of worth.

  • @ mike k

    Look you creepy hypocrite, you just called me a fucking fundamentalist, and now you claim you’ve done your best to mollify me ? Well, fuck you and your passive aggressive bullshit.

    I have NEVER said NTE in 150 years or so, I said I think it terms of a classical mass extinction event, and I think in terms of geological time, and that on that scale, what we are doing is causing changes to happen at an unprecedented speed, nothing comparable has occurred in the entire geological history of this planet, barring asteroid strikes and supervolcanic eruptions, and I’d expect most major life forms to be gone in 150 years. That’s instant in geological time. Civilisation, very much sooner, a couple of decades. ‘Small pockets of survivors’, mid century.

    You want to discuss the technicalities of this, fine.

    There’s a margin of error, plus or minus. Personally, I think Malcolm Light is over the top, and has freaked himself out, but I don’t blame him, because if you look at the prospects, any sane person should be freaked out, it’s scary as hell.

    The weird ones are all the rational scientific community who have all the data, yet manage to convince themselves that at some future point there will be some major change which, just in the nick of time, somehow, someway, alters everything in favour of our survival.. I find their attitude completely bizarre. Surely, it must be obvious by now, that is not going to happen.

    As for the Archdruid and his followers, they are not much different to McKibben and his followers and the Transition Movement, and all the other Green people, shading into all the people on the left who want social reform, and then everyone else on the planet. They all either don’t have a clue, or they are in denial and block out the reality by living in a fantasy world.

    As far as mike k, Artleads, anyone else, position is concerned, it’s not a matter of conforming to some dogmatic belief in NTE, surely, it’s a matter of whether or not you actually are informed and understand what Guy McPherson is saying here on his blog over the last several years. Or not.

    We arrived at a general conclusion that NTE is unavoidable.

    There then comes the topic of how we cope or how do we face that issue.

    This, of course, DOES become a ‘spiritual’ matter, and I think Guy has already mentioned that he has understood that. He himself realised that just presenting the facts, as a scientist, does not fully address people’s emotional responses to the facts. That’s, presumably, why we have topics like this one, which is poetry, rather than a scientific report.

  • To Mike K, Ulvfugl and PMB

    I value your posts. Different views, that worth attention.
    I guess the three of you are within the NTE acceptance category. As I am.
    It is anyway a broad category, this is not written in binary code.
    As nature, everything goes from black to white, with the whole grey scale in between. Nature is not binary.
    Very much like Mike K, I am quite sure that NTE is coming, but the signs are so confusing so far, that there is no way to think in a practical action. I am just gathering data. That does not turn me into a NTE denier, it is just I can see that whatever is coming will be complex, as is the planet as a system. So with the few data available so far, no firm conclusions can be achieved. Just a broad view, that points clearly to NTE. This is like Cristoforo Colombo, he was right about the East Indies, his evidence and thinking were right, but he did not count with America, something that he did not know at the time.
    With the help of people like Guy McPherson, and other data that I seek, part of the mist around NTE can be avoided, but there is a lot of mist yet.
    I do believe that as peak oilers failed to predict how peak oil would take place (that I believe it will take place more sooner than later), and NTE being a much more complex process, it is much more difficult to predict and even more to decide what to do about it, regarding our local and individual reality.
    In Chile we have had a very unusual summer, with a very high number of fires, and at the same time and very related, a severe drought. The third worst since 1924, being the ones of 1968 and 1998 a bit worse. Government is very Scientist say that this is related with a colder sea. In some places we have had record high temps, two degrees above previous (recent) records, but not all times record highs.
    Things are happening, but it is still not enough info to connect the dots in a more detailed way, that may enable us to predict with some minimum certainty what can we expect locally.
    By the way, I have grandchildren. And everyday I think about the (maybe terrible) world they are going to live, and how I and if can do something today, to make things a little bit better for them.

  • Mistake
    I just noticed a missing line in my recent post.

    In Chile we have had a very unusual summer, with a very high number of fires, and at the same time and very related, a severe drought. The third worst since 1924, being the ones of 1968 and 1998 a bit worse.

    Government is very concerned, at the point that we may have some problems with water coming from the taps. Aquifers get deeper every year. There is less snow in the mountains.

    Scientist say that this is related with a colder sea. In some places we have had record high temps, two degrees above previous (recent) records, but not all times record highs.

  • I’m curious if anyone can answer this question. How do you find out the number that is attached to each comment. I’m fascinated by this and couldn’t seem to find anything by doing a search for this on the net.

    @Lidia,

    Thanks for the update about how that get together went. I was curious and interested, but a weekday meeting was out of the question.

    The point raised by Judith is one that has been my experience. It’s similar to what happens in a class room. It’s usually that one brave person who asks a question that is speaking for the many who (for whatever reason) isn’t willing to do so. Says a great deal about our system of compliance in school. I’m sure there are others who haven’t found this site and don’t know how to talk about the topic.

    Also the observation made by Foss also is one I’ve seen repeated before my eyes.

    There is a small window and again I’ll use the Jew getting out of Germany example (once again let’s not go into whether I believe in Zyklon gas, etc, etc). Let’s just use the example of the boat load of Jews who were turned away from America (thanks, FDR and others) and returned to Germany.

    If you were able to understand and act on what was happening you had to do that before you could no longer get out of the country. You had to fight against your relatives and friends and believe in what you were concluding. So you left and many would suffer from survivor’s guilt.

    FYI. A few essays ago I commented on what it is like be a survivor of the gay plague in the 80s. Still not something I see many (if any) share similar situations about. Your’s is one of the exceptions. I appreciated all of those who responded to my comments.

    I was not sharing the story from a Gay perspective, more from a human experience of how trying to survive after witnessing so much loss may not be so easy as others believe.

    I’ve appreciated your sharing the situation regarding your mother as you’ve shared how exhausting dealing with the situation is on so many levels. In my life just before the AIDS crisis hit here I’d gone through 10 years of watching my uncle, mother and then father all get different forms of cancer and die. I’ll not delve much further than that now, but with one after the other getting sick you are worn down to a nib.

    @Mike K,

    Thanks for the response and compliment. Just so it’s clear. No, I wasn’t responding to you based on white wolf. I no longer check out JMG and actually have a hard time making sense of his writing these days. I find X-Ray Mike to be more along my cup of tea (although I am intrigued by the SUN project and am sorry that RE ran out of NBL as if his hair was on fire). He was in and out so fast I thought I was Linda Blair’s head in the exorcist doing a 360.

    I too learn something from almost everyone posting (some more than others). I’ve had to accept that in my own fashion I’m a warrior. Despite desiring to be loved, accepted and appreciated by everyone I do tend to be a person who raises issues and has opinions that make others uncomfortable.

    Here’s a “funny” example. Last Christmas we went to spend the holidays out in the hinterlands of MN (Minneapolis) with my life partner’s family. I am truly at a loss how to respond to people who have children. They talk and talk and talk and talk about how much they love their children and grandchildren. How proud of them they are. How smart they are.

    Yet bringing up issues of the day (climate change, pollution, extinction etc,) This was early in the NTE discussion, a few months before Daniel’s piece appeared. I made a comment about how all these offspring were going to be compost. That they were not going to live as long as their elders had.

    Well you would have thought that I just put out an order for the deaths of these youngsters. I was evil incarnate. Rude. Insensitive. Dislike kids. Yadda, yadda, yadda. It was kill the messenger, but let’s not talk about the message. Yeah, send the kids off to collage so proudly, but let’s not talk about why I thought those kids were going to be compost.

  • [My first post of the day didn’t appear, so pretend this is the second one instead of the third, if it even shows up]

    @PMB… I sure hear you. Over in the forum, Artleads referred to some of the things I said as callous (I wasn’t offended, AL), and I tried to point out what many of our latter-day Cassandras have to face: that SEEING something bad is not the same thing as WANTING TO SEE it.

    My earlier comment referenced Eisenstein’s fourth child. Your MN relatives at least have ignorance of the troubles to come as an excuse.

    PMB, if you are interested in a possible meetup in Central VT, I was going to try and get in touch with the “Gathering Inn” folks, who are not too far from where I live (in a “can’t get theah from heah” sort of way). Maybe a weekend luncheon or supper could be arranged. They have accommodations, of course, but if you are short on funds we have sofa beds. Contact Guy for my e-mail if you like.

    As for numbered comments, I see a little white square in the upper left of each comment rectangle—no numbers.

  • The Battle of Los Angeles 25 February 1942

    by F. Friedrich Kling

    On February 25, 1942 the citizens of Los Angeles were awakened to the wailing of air raid sirens, searchlights scanning the skies, and the firing of anti-aircraft (AA) heavy artillery.

    Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 coupled with subsequent sweeping Japanese naval and land victories, US civilian defense forces were on high alert. Many of Los Angeles’s three million residents contemplated the frightful possibility that the Second World War might soon arrive to the shores of the United States. Unknown to most Americans, an invasion did occur. Early on the morning of February 25, 1942 in an incident now referred to as the Battle of Los Angeles, US West Coast early alert radar stations began tracking a large unidentified object bearing down on Los Angeles. The radar plotting coordinates were rapidly communicated to the Army’s 37th Coastal Heavy Artillery Brigade, and a mandatory blackout order was issued from 2:25AM to 7:21AM. The blackout was in effect from Los Angeles to the Mexican border and inland to the San Joaquin Valley. Huge aircraft search lights flashed along a ten-mile front, then converged on a single “massive white cigar-shaped object” hovering above the city. Without hesitation the guns were ordered to “Green Alert.” Anti-aircraft guns thundered over the metropolitan area for five straight hours at the intruder, but with astonishingly no effect. Furious and relentless anti-Aircraft artillery did not stop firing on the UFO until the all-clear finally sounded at 7:21AM. All the action was, clearly spotlighted for military and civilian ground observers by twenty powerful searchlights. Despite firing more than 1, 600 rounds of heavy flak and a similar number of rounds by US Army Air Corp fighter aircraft, much to the chagrin of the military chain of command, the object could not be brought down. An extremely good quality photograph appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times newspaper on February 26, 1942 that shows search light beams focusing on a gigantic flying saucer as AA artillery shells explode on and around the object.

    The Los Angeles Air Raid Warden testified, “It was huge! I have never seen anything like it in my life. We could see it perfectly because it was very close. When the AA fire failed despite scoring direct hits, we sent fighter planes up and we watched them shoot at the object but it mattered not. It was like the Fourth of July but much louder. The flak was so thick that you could walk on it. Our AA artillery and fighter aircraft were firing like crazy, but nothing could touch the mystery ship. When we considered that the Japs had developed aircraft that were impervious to our newest and most powerful AA artillery and fighter aircraft, a sense of panic and pandemonium ensued. Thank God the mystery object never returned.”

  • Re comment numbers

    It’s the date and time below the posters name. If you click on that it should give the comment number, in the URL in the top of your browser, or if you hover over it, in the bar at the bottom of the browser.

    Re Artleads

    When he first arrived and had a rough reception, I spent a lot of time explaining to him WHY, and being as helpful as I could be. This is on the record for anyone to dig up. He pissed off a lot of people, some left. Seems none of it worked. Imo, he issues definitive statements about topics he knows nothing about, and has not studied, and considering the grave issues we discuss, I consider that grossly irresponsible, and it pisses me off. No doubt he’ll make some grovelling apology and then do the same again.

    Re mike k

    I spent several days not very long ago, haggling over spiritual stuff with mike k, who eventually got it, which was good. Also on the record for anyone to dig up. Now he reverted back to where he was and came up with same old sanctimonious claptrap as before. That pisses me off too.

  • Hello, all.

    I decided to pitch my poems to Guy because NBL is pretty much the only place where the psychology of hope (for hope’s sake) has been set aside in favor of objective truth. It is a breath of fresh air, and I would like to say thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

    There are so many reasons behind the prevailing cognitive dissonance, I’ve given up every attempt to categorize them. I have settled myself (logically, emotionally, spiritually) in a place of total acceptance. Poetry has served, by and large, as a cathartic outlet toward a state of peaceful resignation.

    It doesn’t matter how dire the predictions become; most of the writers and activists (McKibben, this Archdruid fellow) who deal in the business of climate change still insist on softening the blow with obligatory “reasons for hope.” It certainly isn’t the environment they hope to sustain; it is quick and easy access to virtual reality, to all the spoils of luxury afforded by oil and coal, suddenly replaced with “clean” sources. But energy can only be described as “clean” when you expend it through zero-impact activities. You can charge your iPhone with solar panels, but you’re still using batteries made from minerals that were extracted by strip-mining warlords in Africa and Afghanistan. Urban sprawl powered by the wind is still urban sprawl. The inability to fathom a future existence without our present level of convenience is, I fear, the primary force behind the cognitive dissonance. Thus, our green “sustainability initiatives” are turning windmills and squiggly lightbulbs into a sort of deus ex machina in the quest to save (or reverse-engineer) the soul of industrial civilization. Never mind that the soul is rotten and doesn’t deserve to be saved. As told by Euripides, Medea was whisked away by a flying chariot pulled by dragons to give his audience a happy ending; in the earlier version of the myth (before it was played out on stage) she was executed for murdering her own children. The current fantasy of a gilded-green revolution depends upon the very same obstruction of justice. Though I am the proud owner of three reusable shopping bags, I’m not about to mistake that gentrified Hell for the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • @ulvfugl

    I could not agree with you more. I read all of these reports from climatologists that talk about a 4C rise by 2100. WTF is it with 2100?! I know it’s the beginning of the next century… and not that far away (geologically speaking). But what about determining heating by mid century? 2050 will be here before we know it… and I fear we will have arrived at 3C to 4C above baseline in just 35 to 40 years (at the present rat-crazy pace we’re running)… just as Guy and many others foresee. Just sayin’……

  • My project is to learn as much as I can about our situation from whatever sources I can.

    The Vedic tradition speaks of a Divine swan that can drink the milk from a mixture of milk and water and leave behind the water. Selectively learning the good from everywhere.

    I’m curious if anyone can answer this question. How do you find out the number that is attached to each comment.

    The second line has a hyperlink:

    PMB Says:
    January 9th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Which is:

    hyper text transfer protocol colon backslash backslash guymcphersondotcom/2014/01/the-end-of-the-world-a-drama-in-verse/?switch=0#comment-116962

  • I must be daft. I could have sworn I commented here yesterday . . .

    Benjamin: I’m right behind you sir, so I know how you feel! Thanks so much for all your wonderful contributions – I love ’em!

    Jason: great job on the poetry! Evocative, meaningful and cogent.
    Don’t worry too much about publishing, but keep writing and
    posting them where you will be appreciated and people will
    read them. There are many sites that would fit the bill,
    and I’m sure you can find them on-line by spending a bit of
    time searching. Let us know if you do find such a site and
    link it here so we can follow your progress. I’d be
    interested in reading more of your expressed thoughts and
    feelings.

    Meanwhile, revisiting methane:

    http://www.dailyimpact.net/2014/01/09/methane-feedback-instant-planetary-emergency/

    (concludes with)

    And British scientist John Nissen, chairman of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, suggests that if the summer sea ice loss passes “the point of no return,” and “catastrophic Arctic methane feedbacks” kick in, we’ll be in an “instant planetary emergency.” That point of no return for Arctic Sea ice has in all probability already been passed. US Navy researchers expect the Arctic to be free of ice and warming rapidly in two years.

    While the leaders of the world swing hysterically from branch to branch, hooting about a cold day in winter refuting all of climate science, on every front the planetary emergencies accumulate and accelerate. Anyone who has not acquired a sanctuary and begun to hone the skills of self-sustainable living, does not understand the situation.

    [self-sustainable living = hopium]

  • and, here (from 2 days ago):

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2014/01/high-methane-levels-over-arctic-ocean-continue-in-2014.html

    High Methane Levels over Arctic Ocean continue in 2014

    As above image shows, high methane readings (as high as 2301 ppb on January 6, 2014) continue in 2014. High methane concentrations continue to enter the atmosphere where the sea ice is thin and where the sea ice is carried by currents outside of the Arctic Ocean.

    [graphs]

    Clearly, methane levels are rising and high releases over the Arctic Ocean will be contributing to the rise. The image below shows more recent data, from in situ measurements at the station at Barrow, Alaska.

    The image below shows high methane releases over the Arctic Ocean, as recorded on (part of) January 7, 2014, when levels were as high as 2381 ppb.

    The image below shows methane levels on (part of) January 8, 2014, when levels as high as 2341 ppb were recorded. The inset confirms indications that these high levels originate from the Arctic Ocean.

  • Jason, keep writing. It’s therapeutic if nothing else.

    PMB, I keep meaning to respond to you, to your story of living through the plague of the 80s…..I too see many similarities between how we “coped” (ie, ignored) HIV and AIDS and today’s refusal to see how climate change and it’s whole constellation of “symptoms” is going to kill us all. I even wrote a blog post. You’re not alone, brother.

    U, you keep struggling against the ignorance. Personally, I’ve diagnosed some passive/aggressiveness and thus have opted to simply ignore. I respect your efforts, pal.

    Lydia, thanks for the update.

    Orlov thinks a Russian passport is gonna save his son. Bwahahahah!

  • @ PMB

    again I’ll use the Jew getting out of Germany example

    Why? It’s a poor example. Organised Jewry went on the offensive against Germany in 1933. Perfectly reasonable to declare a boycott under the circumstances, and rather silly to describe it as a declaration of war, as Britain’s Daily Express did, but if you were a Jew living behind enemy lines, as it were, and you could read, the decision would have been clear-cut.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #102

    Squirrel’s big belly
    giggles down at me, as she
    leaps from branch to branch.

  • Tom, I take it that you are not attending the upcoming Next Step seminar advertised above?

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

  • Thank you, Jason, for this epic gem. I especially enjoyed the lines comparing poetry today to potatoes, whose eyes still seek the light- nice!

    @logspirit: beautiful epilogue. Perfect that it ended up first on this thread- more NBL synchronicity at work.

    @BVinVT: “Let it be known all here at NBL: I MISS BENJAMIN the DONKEY!!!”
    I wholeheartedly agree!

    @ BenjaminTheDonkey: Thanks for checking in- it’s great to hear from you! Wishing you heath and happiness, brother.

    @PMB: my heart goes out to the loss and grief you have lived through- thank you for sharing your story here.

  • @Godofredo – Thanks for your comments. Whatever your chronological age, you evince a balanced wisdom born of thoughtful experience. We need that to surf the wild waves that are becoming more unbalancing every day now. The major extinction event facing us now not only results from our immature inner states, but threatens to worsen the madness that has brought us to this precipice. Those who are seeking to probe the inner side of our tragic dilemma within our hearts and minds are not somehow irrelevant to our quest to salvage some sanity for dealing with the unfolding disaster. Those whose focus is on some outward signs and mechanisms would do well to let others with a more psychological and inner perspective continue their crucial share of the great work of understanding and addressing our overwhelming human problems. No one perspective should claim to have the whole truth about this ultimately complex dilemma we find ourselves in. Rather than dismissively trashing other’s responses and ideas, a certain receptivity and fellow feeling would seem to be in order. Of course constructive and polite criticism and the accepting of this by those being questioned is a necessary part of any realistic process of enquiry. But to descend to the level of name calling ad hominem attacks should be beneath us if we are truly seeking the least harmful outcomes for all. That folks may sometimes “lose it” in light of the dangerous, frightening, and potentially maddening subject of NTE that we are considering is perhaps inevitable. But working to help each other to regain a more calm and reasoned poise has to be a valid concern if there is to be any worthwhile purpose to our online gathering. Kicking sand in each others faces would seem to me to be contraindicated on a Beach of Doom…

  • What beautiful poems.
    ‘Prometheus’ calls to mind the scene in Annie Dillard’s ‘Holy the Firm’, where the golden moth flies into the flame of the candle, eventually becoming the wick. For some reason, moths are one of those things that are mysterious and ethereal to me, but though I am fascinated by them, I have never studied or read up on them. Maybe to preserve the mystery? I don’t know. During spring of 2011 when we were having many rains, our house became filled with moths. Not only our house, but everywhere in the area, as well. I would pull back the covers on the bed, or pull the shower curtain closed as I stepped in to wash off, and out would fly moths. Under clothes left on the floor, under pillows, anywhere dark and cozy- it was such a strange thing. I would open the door to shoo them out, and many more would come in.

    Now it is just the march of the ants, and flight of the flying ants. They push the carcasses of previous inhabitants out of the light fixtures in the kitchen as they move back in, or wake back up, whatever it is they are doing to claim this space. Last night I stared one down as it sipped greedily at a spot of coffee with sugar and cream that had spilled on the stovetop, so thirsty and hungry he appeared to be using his ‘hands’ to shovel the liquid into his mouth.

    @Lidia re: NTHE awareness: for everyone one who is visibly out there, there are probably 100 who ‘know’ but just aren’t saying anything.
    I think so, too. I recently just asked one of my sisters outright, why no one ever responds to some of the climate and other information I put out there, and she just said people are scared, they don’t know what to do or say in the face of it, so they do and say nothing.

  • @ Mike k

    Kicking sand in each others faces would seem to me to be contraindicated on a Beach of Doom…

    There aren’t any others, this is the only one and the only time you’ll ever be on it. No second chances. No need to kick sand in your face is there, here’s the bad odour of your own vain posturing, come back to haunt you :

    I want to be in a state of concerns, problems, efforts to help others, work on my own defects of character, egoism, etc. I would really like to be able to save all beings from suffering. I wouldn’t really be of much use for that if I was just blissed out all the time thinking how wonderful it is that millions are being tortured and dying, and I am blessedly beyond concern with all of that.

    Seems you need to add to that list of conceits that you want to set yourself up on a pulpit as a fucking preacher and tell others how they ought to behave and feel at the prospect of end of the world as well.

    You’d have been perfectly at home blessing the cannons with holy water during World War One, wouldn’t you. Nauseating. How can you ever save anyone else from suffering when you’re drowning in your own puke, mike k ?

    @ Pilot

    WTF is it with 2100 ?

    It’s the point where they’ll have finished their careers and finished drawing their pensions and be safely buried. That’s what they care about. That’s why it’s their time horizon, consciously or unconsciously.

    I thought this reply by DIOGENES to T. Weddle on RC was interesting. I don’t suppose he/she minds me reposting it, seeing as it mentions McPherson. Thing is, they all want to save their skins and keep civilisation going. Understandably, of course, because nobody wants to see billions of humans die and the horror that will entail.

    But the problem is, they have the analysis wrong, and they do not have the nerve to get it correct, because it is too harsh to face. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. The root of the crisis is biological overshoot of the carrying capacity of the planet. We are at Albert Bartlett’s point of final multiplication, the five minutes to midnight when the lily pond is still only half covered, kinda thing, and yet next morning….

    Nobody seems to get this… not even those maths whizzos modelling the climate in their computers…

    We have loons over here telling us about aliens and who think that this cold snap gives us a respite from the coming heat, and they have loons over there arguing whether alternative energy or nuclear power is going to save their civilisation…

    Imo, this Beach of Doom is going to eat everybody… they just don’t know it, don’t see it..

    Anyway, it’s a good comment to give perspective…

    Tony Weddle #240,
    “but if we pile ahead with renewables, there are almost certain to be unintended consequences (assuming all the energy we desire could be practically obtained that way). We need to see the big picture, because ploughing ahead on some path, wearing blinkers, has not had good results so far. We need to make sure we take the blinkers off, in future.”
    The ‘big picture’, as I see it, is the following. If we continue BAU with respect to fossil fuel, and all indications are that we will, today’s models predict on the order of 5 C by end of century. People who have studied potential life under these conditions believe many species will go extinct, including the human species. If we add the major positive feedback mechanisms to these models, the heating will be accelerated, and nearer-term extinction is possible. This, to me, is the default case we face today.
    Now, many experts believe we have no choice but to transition rapidly to a non-carbon economy. Will such an economy have ‘unintended consequences’? Undoubtedly, but it has the potential to avoid extinction, and that is, or should be, our main concern today.
    While potential ‘unintended consequences’ in the long-term is a valid concern, my concern is more fundamental. To get to the long-term, we have to go through the short-term. Can we, in fact, get through the short-term such that we will have a long-term that includes survival of our species. McPherson believes we can’t, but that is a very minority opinion; not necessarily wrong, but minority, nevertheless.
    Two climate experts I respect, who may be speaking for a large segment of the credible climate community, are Hansen and Anderson. They have both made the point that going beyond about 1 C global mean temperature increase will have very adverse effects, using terms such as ‘deleterious’, ‘dangerous’, etc. They don’t define these terms because of the uncertainties in what happens when we go beyond prior Holocene experience, but my interpretation is that some or all of the important feedback processes could accelerate out of our control, with the most devastating of consequences. They both state that the international target of 2 C is very dangerous.
    They both offer recommendations for getting over the short-term hump to arrive at the long-term in reasonable (not unscathed) shape. I have a difficult time seeing the compatibility of their recommendations, since their assumptions have differences. Beyond that, I don’t see how the transition to renewables alone will get us over the short-term hump. Anderson flatly states that we cannot stay within the 2 C ceiling based on supply side changes alone; he posits a scenario of at least 10% reduction in global emissions annually for the interim period in order to stay within 2 C. He does not present an emissions reduction estimate for 1 C, but one assumes it would be far greater than 10% per year, if in fact 1 C is possible given what we have put in the pipeline already. Hansen assumes a ceiling of about 1.1 C, and proposes a combination of renewables, nuclear, and reforestation. My reading of the tea leaves is we need the combination of strong renewables introduction coupled with strong demand reduction, and possibly some strong carbon capture methods as well.
    So, yes, there may be unintended consequences from accelerated introduction of renewables (or nuclear), and there would certainly be unintended consequences from strong demand reduction, but the days of effecting the transition painlessly have long passed. We will need some compromise that includes accelerated renewables, accelerated nuclear, accelerated reforestation, accelerated demand reduction, etc. Unfortunately, the only acceleration I am seeing now is by Australia, Canada, USA, Russia, etc to extract their remaining fossil reserves as rapidly as possible to maximize revenues.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/unforced-variations-jan-2014/comment-page-5/#comment-446432

  • Something to learn from – we will see more and more of this as our time unfurls… “Scapegoating (from the verb “to scapegoat”) is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame as a scapegoat.” A medical definition of scapegoating is:
    “Process in which the mechanisms of projection or displacement are utilized in focusing feelings of aggression, hostility, frustration, etc., upon another individual or group; the amount of blame being unwarranted.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapegoating

    It’s pretty much up to us as individuals to spot this mechanism in action. If we should choose to wait for the scapegoater to acknowledge his/her responsibility for this behavior, we need to realize that the one doing this is not aware of doing so, and hence will never be in a position to fess up to it.

  • We are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell.

    I’m not kidding about any of this. I can’t sleep anymore. I think it may be game over.

    http://mostlysignssomeportents.tumblr.com/post/72759474218/we-are-huxleying-ourselves-into-the-full-orwell

  • Mass Extinction: Let’s Not
    by Peter Sinclair on Climate Crock of the Week
    https://climatecrocks.com/2014/01/09/mass-extinction-lets-not/

    From the article:
    “I’ve been thinking about the fine line between creating a sense of urgency vs a sense of hopelessness. There a natural urge among some folks to cut right to the “hopeless” phase, without actually wanting to do something about the problem.

    There’s a lot of internet chatter about imminent doom for human civilization. And yes, I’m talking about you, Guy MacPherson.
    This is, first of all, incorrect. Secondly, not helpful.
    Even the worst case scenarios in the fossil record played out over millennia, and the experts I’ve talked to are pretty clear that no one, or at least very few, are expecting any kind of catastrophic single event in the coming few decades…”

    107 comments with Guy weighing in, as well. Interesting to be seeing references & discussions regarding NTE in more & more places…

  • Mike K

    Thanks. Just busy at the moment. Not gone. I usually get a big charge out of what you have to say.

    PMB

    I hear you regarding all the issues you bring up. Yes, what I’ve read from JMG has me wondering, “Where is the science?????” But I’m still thinking about some of his and other cognitive dissonances out there. Hope to say more soon.

    Godolfredo

    Not to get into the subject of individual facts, I love the way you approach the subject. As Mike K says, very balanced (and refined).

    Lidia,

    Thanks for not being offended. (I suppose hinting at something is not truly different from saying it outright. :-)) You’re doing some nice work. Best to you.

  • @islandraider

    There were two comments from your link that bear repeating here:

    “Humans are as adaptive as cockroaches.”

    AND…

    “I believe in human ingenuity.”

    Therefore, according to deniers of near-term extinction, we will always, always, ALWAYS (at the very last moment, like MacGyver, apparently) manage to find a way out. Yes, humans are cockroaches. Our ingenuity is legendary. And that’s precisely why there’s no hope for us. We occupy an unprecedented niche at the top of the food chain. It would be bad enough if we were mere apex predators; but no: we’re apex OMNIVORES (the first in the hisotry of life, no less). We’ll eat anything (even McNuggets). If no apex species has ever imposed limits upon its own proliferation, why should we? The fact that we’ve created art, music, science, and philosophy would (in the opinion of the deniers) expemt us from the demands of basic evolutinary instincts. But none of these qualities will ever pack enough of a punch to overcome our narrow-sighted pursuit of short-term benefits at the expense of long-term gains. 98% of American woodlands and 99% of American prairies have already been destroyed and replaced with artificial human food/production systems. The people who claim we’re too enlightened to completely eat ourselves out of house and home fail to recognize that (thanks in large part to the Enlightenment!) we already have. Male lions will continue to kill their cubs even when they’re on the verge of extinction; the contiunation of over-consumptive industrial civilization is just our version of cub-killing. It’s a genetic tragedy, and there’s only way way out.

  • poetry is kind of like pot for me. i like good stuff in small doses, once daily max. very good stuff, jason. haven’t read it all yet, past 3 days. not a bad way to begin one’s day on this blog, reading one or 2 of your poems. ‘wrinkled rot’ -good one. lovely alliteration.

    btd, i too miss u. good to know u’re still kickin, u old fart.

    ‘But no, it was a vision!—
    Mother Nature would arrange
    For bottom-feeding slugs to eat
    The New York Stock Exchange!’

    jason, i dreamt once a similar vision of a sky scrapered city partially submerged. dream was probably a manifestation of my concern about the effects of agw. perhaps a vision of the future that will be unseen by human eyes, since we’ll be extinct.

    ‘Feeling almost nothing inside that resembles the warmth of love. The flame extinguishes. The loudest silence I ever heard. Then… not knowing I was ever here at all.’

    logspirit, i sadly relate. no one will know or care about us once we’re gone. it will be as if we never lived, mattered, loved, and lost. death, the great leveller, destroyer of illusions. may it be an improvement, a release from suffering.

    i hope u at least have some pleasant companionship, log, now and then. u come across as awfully lonely at times. i relate. personal shortcomings and being a virtual prisoner/dependent of/on a culture that pretty much destroys community and channels behavior narrowly, restricting/destroying our freedom, spontaneity, authenticity… imposing isolation/alienation, and of course authoritarian dogmas/laws with cruel punishments enforced with prejudice/malice.

    it’s a crazy fucked up society when logspirit suffers as a poor social outcast. logspirit who is full of wisdom. contrast with dick cheney and w. bush, wealthy, powerful, and no doubt very popular among their powerful, wealthy backers and puppet masters. enjoying parties, friends, fine food and drink, and practically anything money can buy. this is one reason why i and i think many here look forward in a perverse way to collapse. because then the ones with the most to lose will lose the most. call it cold comfort justice. mother nature takes no prisoners.

  • Huge difference between “hopelessness” and “no hope.”
    Hopelessness is total despair, giving up and wallowing around like a spoiled child. Having no hope is realistically understanding the situation and not wasting time trying to come up new and clever ways to keep things exactly as they are. “Adapting” is clinging to a unrealistic demands. You can’t adapt to a lack of food. You can’t become an autotroph through meditation or prayer or snark.

    You would never go to someone with the final stages of lung cancer and call them a loser for giving up on hope. Guess what? Planet earth is in the final stages of lung cancer. All the human parasites living upon her are going to die, wiped out by the very cancer they caused.

  • Well, my revels here are now ending….I have learned what I was able, and thank all who helped me do that. I have shared what I could, perhaps with less result than I hoped, but I accept responsibility for that. I will check on what’s up on the site from time to time. I am curious if the posters who want to turn this forum into a Totally Hopeless Only Admitted Club achieve their apparent goal of creating the most exclusive Absolute Doom Soon Cult in the world. I hope not…oops there’s that forbidden word popping up. I guess I’m just hopeless at being hopeless, sigh… When ER left, I had a premonition that I would be following him out. When the distinction between true hope and false hope is blurred, and then erased, you end up in nihilist fatalism. Brrrr not a place for me. Why not just suggest people commit suicide and be done with it? For one like myself who has worked to save people from their profound depression, it’s just plain craziness to ask people to give up all hope. In some ways Klink’s UFO’S make more sense than that! Enough already, I’m outta here…

    @Ulvfugl – Thanks for all I learned from attempting to interact with you. I don’t think you can appreciate what I learned from you, so I’ll keep that to myself. In parting, I wish you the very best. May all good things possible come to you, and make you really happy. I especially pray that your cluster headaches will disappear and never return. (Sorry about the prayer thing. You can hold your nose if you should dare to swallow it. Or just spit it out with the rest of my good wishes if that feels better to you. In any case, the good wishes hold – they are really meant for both of us. I have found it is really toxic for me to hold any kind of grudge.)

  • @ Denise
    Thanks. I enjoy your work too. Always good to get some feedback… vitamins for the general inspiration.

    As things get more dire, ’emotional nourishment’ will be progressively scarcer and yet ever more necessary for the personal energy to simply go on existing. I was talking to a friend who lives in Syracuse, N.Y. – a dreary place in the winter… cold, gray, damp, and drowning in poverty since industry jumped ship. The population has fallen by more than half since I lived there 40 years ago. We were discussing how such desolation prompts human warmth and mutual support. How people actually sit closer to each other, willingly, eagerly accepting less ‘personal space’, embracing heightened spatial intimacy – even among strangers in public places. The rooms are smaller than in the south and wood stoves are very popular given the price of heating oil. Wood stove radiant heat means you stay together near the hearth. That, in turn, seems to encourage creativity… making music, arts and crafts, and conversation. Respectful conversation that includes really listening. Sitting and watching TV alone there is intensely isolating as the wind howls.

    So – perhaps as things in general get more dreary, we will come together more for the solace and refreshment of each others’ presence. Not that this will reverse our apparently inevitable fate, but perhaps we will at least become more human as we go to our end. Maybe someone will write an appropriately sad anthem for NTHE that we’ll all agree to sing together. Maybe we’re already doing that now, here. Maybe all the discord and dissonance are appropriate to the theme. Bring up the wailing section, now the fife and drums, while the recital of the final epitaph holds us spellbound.

    Keep the radiance of your heart shining.

  • @Jason

    Real nice.

    @ArtLeads

    I been meanin’ to get back to ya on a a couple of posts ago. Thank you. Thank you.

    I have not read Emancipation Hell: the Tragedy Wrought by the Emancipation Proclamation by Kirkpatrick Sale. This is the first I have read of him to my recollection. Thought it worth sharing.

    John Mayall – Thoughts about Roxanne

    Flood watch in effect.

  • Battle of Los Angeles Los Angeles Times photos:

  • Human ingenuity
    I am convinced that the human ingenuity is slowly vanishing, year after year. Not because we are less intelligent, it is just because we have been losing our capacity to handle the necessary concepts to create something that will work. Something practical.
    In our modern society we study to get a diploma and then become an employee, hopefully at the highest possible position, in the biggest possible company. Ingenuity is not required for this positions. And to be able to create something like a CDO, is not what we need today.
    Also because when somebody uses real ingenuity to create something, the solution is copied in a blink of an eye, so somebody else gets rich with the inventor´s idea.
    Just like John Galt with his marvelous engine, many inventors will prefer to hide their ideas.
    Today, we do not repair, that requires some ingenuity. We replace.
    A very minor fraction of the 7000 millions of us create new things. That by the way are mostly more of the same, with minor changes. Very few NEW things.
    Our minds have become useless for ingenuity.
    And finally, if somebody has a good idea, probably will use it as an advantage to have a better option to survive.

    We are selfish.
    What is rarely mentioned here is the fact that human extinction means “hasta la vista baby” and “C´est fini” for most of US, “before our time”.
    We always talk about “people”, but we forget that we are “people” to others. So in the end it is me and the people (excluding close relatives), people is who is not me. People is a very distant relation. No names, no faces. But people is each one of us, a bunch of “Does”.
    If the rest is people, I guess there is no possible solution if a common action is required.
    When we are talking about “me”, how many persons will be worried about the “rest”, I bet that very-very few.
    In the end we are alone, we are a soul caught in a body. Our body is what matters.
    Facing a possible solution, or way out, what counts is that is the one that will save me (I am not saying “us” on purpose).
    I am afraid that Friendship and Love will have very hard moments once extinction process begins. And probably even before, when our society collapses.
    I have seen and lived moments of social chaos, with looting and insane destruction. I have felt the fear of being alone, and everybody taking care only of their own.
    I do believe in love, and that we have to live for the rest, but most of the time, seems to me that is not an accepted and understood position, in a society where everything is about “me”.
    We are about to face a totally new and terrible experience, because, contrary to what the jews lived with the Nazis. Now there is no other place to go. And people will hardly help people.

  • @ mike k

    I am curious if the posters who want to turn this forum into a Totally Hopeless Only Admitted Club achieve their apparent goal of creating the most exclusive Absolute Doom Soon Cult in the world.

    Ironic that we just had a thread about listening, and you are incapable of listening or hearing, and only here to preach to us.

    Thing is we have already had plenty of concern trolls who want to ‘save us from ourselves’, so it’s easy to see the pattern mike k, you’re just another one. Self-righteous, pompous, patronising, priggish.

    I hope not…oops there’s that forbidden word popping up. I guess I’m just hopeless at being hopeless, sigh…

    If you’d been paying attention, you’d have noticed this has been discussed over and over again. I don’t think anyone here is hopeless, we just don’t tolerate hopium.

    When ER left, I had a premonition that I would be following him out.

    Did you indeed. Well, pop next door to the Diner, I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you, especially if you can bother to get his name right.

    When the distinction between true hope and false hope is blurred, and then erased, you end up in nihilist fatalism.

    Indeed, we MIGHT, but this has also been discussed, ad nauseam.

    Why not just suggest people commit suicide and be done with it?

    Yes, why not ? This has also been discussed, ad nauseam. You seem to think we are naive and clueless as you are, and need you to explain this crap to us mike k, when it’s all been thrashed out repeatedly ? Over and over again ?

    For one like myself who has worked to save people from their profound depression, it’s just plain craziness to ask people to give up all hope.

    But if you were fucking listening instead of fucking preaching, then you would realise that nobody here has been saying ‘give up all hope’, have they, we are talking about something a lot more sophisticated and nuanced, and it’s YOU who are, in your ignorance and conceit, inventing your OWN version of ‘no hope’ and inventing your own construction that it means profound depression, because that’s the way YOU see it, because YOU are a vain egotistical pompous man who thinks he knows better than everyone else already, and doesn’t need to learn anything from anyone about ‘hope’.

    @Ulvfugl May all good things possible come to you, and make you really happy. I especially pray that your cluster headaches will disappear and never return. (Sorry about the prayer thing. You can hold your nose if you should dare to swallow it. Or just spit it out with the rest of my good wishes if that feels better to you. In any case, the good wishes hold – they are really meant for both of us. I have found it is really toxic for me to hold any kind of grudge.)

    Yuk. That’s the most repulsive and insincere blessing I’ve received in a long time. Excuse me, mike, but you come across to me as a cowardly, creepy man, and frankly, if it means I’ve got to keep my fucking cluster headaches for the rest of my life, I’d rather do that than accept your fake good wishes. I like the real thing, not the slimy fake version.

    This is the Beach of Doom, I think I can opt to find good company that makes for high quality time, or stroll further..

    You know, I tend to view the virgin terry as a twerp, but that’s the way everyone has seen the virgin terry forever. There’s zillions of people like that, who are shy, quiet, pissed off, humble, miserable, lonely, sad. Nobody ever hears what they say, they gave up saying anything, nobody cares that they don’t say anything, it’s surely not worth hearing anyway, is it..

    A super-confident thug like me comes along and bullies them and they have the guts to tell me to fuck right off. I really admire and respect that.

    I prefer that any day to your passive aggressive condescending waffling bullshit, mike k, thinking yourself superior and ‘questing for numinous truth to be a better person’ bullshit, your awful ‘Prophet Come To Save Us’ act, when you can’t even take the trouble to pay attention to the people you are talking to here, or learn what the real issues are.

    Thing is, I know how to be heard, because I kick the shit out of anyone who is in my way, and I make a space.

    What I’d LIKE to do is make a space for the ones who don’t know how to do that, even if what they have to say is really not much at all, just so they can say hello, I don’t know how to do this, but I’d like to do it… I want to hear the timid, gentle, very quiet ones.. I don’t know how that can be done here

    @ logspirit

    Shouldn’t you have resolved this, one way or another ? I feel the guy is entitled to some respect, he has an excellent case, imo.

    Toward an Ethic of Listening

  • @ ulvfugl
    I started to write a much longer reply, going into point by point details… but you know what? Forget it. People would just get even more defensive and aggressive about their unexamined habits and we’d have a blood bath that I simply don’t care to engage in. So, for the moment, I’m done with this topic… I know from more than 40 years of experience that it is fruitless to discuss it with people who are not ready and eager to learn. A total waste of energy. I won’t fall for the churlish “hey, why don’t you and him fight” BS. Not Aikido. I’ll continue to post pertinent educational material for the sake of those who are really open to new perspectives, those who are actually interested in reducing suffering on this planet and discovering fresh vitality in their lives. The Buddha has been quoted as saying: “Eating flesh extinguishes the seeds of compassion.” Several people have contacted me privately with sincere requests for vegan dietary advice, and I’m happy to provide help with a generous portion of my time. Only for the sincere, awakening to compassion.

  • Hopelessness is total despair

    Hopelessness excludes all despair. Despair is the crushing of expectations. Hope is focused expectations. When actions are performed in accordance with rational anticipations, but without expectations, then the results of the action are neither cause for elation nor dejection. There is neither creation of hope nor cause for despair. Hopelessness is one of the characteristics of the Realised. Karma Yoga, for those who would prefer an exotic label.

    for most of US, “before our time”.

    The time is not “our time”. The “I” associated whit the “me”/”mine”/”our” is within the domain of time-space-causation; when the “I” is recognised as an apparition, a mirage, the conscious awareness is realised as not bound by time-space-causation, devoid of characteristics or descriptors – the Void, Sunyata in some Eastern traditions.

    In the end we are alone, we are a soul caught in a body. Our body is what matters.

    There is no soul. The non-dual conscious awareness that illuminates all minds is not limited by time-space-causation. Except that awareness is self-aware, it is indistinguishable from nothingness. Existence is inseparable from awareness. Where there “is” existence, the “is” indicates a perceiving awareness.

    THE HYMN OF SAMADHI
    (Rendered from Bengali)
    Swami Vivekananda
    Lo! The sun is not, nor the comely moon,
    All light extinct; in the great void of space
    Floats shadow-like the image-universe.

    In the void of mind involute, there floats
    The fleeting universe, rises and floats,
    Sinks again, ceaseless, in the current “I”.

    Slowly, slowly, the shadow-multitude
    Entered the primal womb, and flowed ceaseless,
    The only current, the “I am”, “I am”.

    Lo! ‘Tis stopped, ev’n that current flows no more,
    Void merged into void — beyond speech and mind!
    Whose heart understands, he verily does.

  • The author of this article welcomes suggestions for improvement:

    The Schizophrenic Society

    “Human civilization stands at a crossroads, either it continues its current path of “business as usual” and faces escalating crises on its journey to destruction, or it fundamentally reassesses its relationship with its environment and accepts limits upon how much it can safely take from the earth each year. The underlying crisis that it faces is not climate change, peak cheap energy, or ecological destruction, as these are just symptoms of the underlying problem. All of these challenges stem from the continued exponential growth in human numbers and the demands that each of those humans, especially in the industrialized countries, make of the earth and its ecology. It is estimated that humanity currently takes from the earth at a rate that is 50% faster than the earth can replenish(1), and will require two earths worth within about two decades(2).

    The only way that human industrialized societies have been able to continue with such destructive and suicidal ways is through the development of a delusional belief system, hallucinations that render reality invisible behind the cloak of an imaginary world, and deeply flawed illogic which passes for deep insight. As our societies hurtle towards extinction their citizens can remain blissfully wound up in their delusional beliefs, hallucinations and illogic. Confronted with an individual showing such symptoms a psychologist would quickly identify the outward manifestations of a major mental illness, schizophrenia. The larger and more complex our societies have become the greater the harm they do to our only home, the earth, the more we must descend into schizophrenia to escape the realities of our destructive behaviours. Unless the elites, who are both the guardians and the major beneficiaries of the status quo, are forced into a discomforting reengagement with reality, a new dark age will be our destiny. The only question will then be how long the incredibly complex and destructive societies that we have constructed for ourselves can be held together. These societies can only function through the plunder of the earth’s ecosystems, its mineral resources, and the fossil fuels which represent many millions of years of ancient sunlight.

    This is not just an issue with capitalism, the removal of which will not change the path to destruction. The belief that the earth’s only function is for the benefit of the human race, and that through its cleverness humanity can overcome any of earth’s limitations, goes back many thousands of years. The genesis of such mistaken beliefs occurred with the extensive use of agriculture and animal husbandry, which both set humans apart from nature and allowed humanity some level of control over the natural world. Anthropologists have noted that the surviving hunter gathering communities tend to see themselves as part of nature, while agricultural and animal husbandry societies see themselves more as civilized entities set apart from the wild nature upon which they have gained some control(3,4). The masses of poor within such societies did not benefit from the utilization of agricultural practices, as attested to by skeletal remains which show a significantly lower level of health and stature when compared to hunter gatherers who consumed a much more varied and healthy diet. Any food surplus was quickly used up by growing populations and the demands of the elites that sprang up to expand their wealth and power through the control of those surpluses. The sheer weight of numbers, together with the ability to feed an army, made such societies irresistible in their continual search for more land to feed the increasing numbers and elite demands. The surrounding hunter gatherers either moved away or were defeated, with the unsustainable groups expanding at the expense of the sustainable. Over time many complex societies grew, and many collapsed, but overall the agriculturalists continued their growth at the expense of the hunter gatherers, who to this day are seen overwhelmingly as “savages” that need to be integrated or eradicated in the name of religion or progress. The religions of the complex societies came to reflect a human-centric view that both gave humanity dominion over the earth, and provided the rationale for the destruction of those “heretics” that would not accept the official “true” religion.

    The elites of these societies understood that more than just brute force could be used to control the masses that toiled to provide their wealth and power, and thus both bureaucracy and religion were brought to bear as efficient controls. Of course, where these failed there were still horrific punishments to deter challenges. There were repeated challenges from the masses, but the greatest threats to the rulers of such societies tended to come from within their own elite, from the elites of other competing societies, climatic changes, and the slow degradation of the soils inherent to agriculture. From the fifteenth century onwards the European nations solved the latter problem through the taking of vast new lands in the Americas, and Oceania, that provided nitrogen (for replenishing the exhausted European soils) and food, together with an outlet for surplus populations. These lands were depopulated primarily through European diseases with the human remnants dealt with through a subjugation and slaughter which has continued to the present day. A new lebensraum was created, cleared of its previous inhabitants. The subjugation of Africa and the Far East was slower given the inhospitableness of the climate and local infections to Europeans in the former, together with the resistance of established advanced civilizations in the latter. The overcoming of ecological limits through the taking of lands from others was reinforced as a successful strategy and shown to be the only way to survive as a society in the long run. Either take or be taken. The acceptance of ecological limits would simply lead to a level of weakness that would attract others seeking to evade such limits through conquest.

    Still, even at this point in history humanity lived well within what the earth could provide. The cycle of societal growth and collapse would have continued over many thousands of years until possibly the next ice age came along as an insuperable challenge. Complex human civilizations owe their existence to the luck of being within the “long summer”(5) of the Holocene inter-glacial period when the ice sheets retreated towards the poles, opening the huge land expanses of the Northern Hemisphere.

    The successful utilization of fossil fuels, first coal and then oil and natural gas, provided both cheap and phenomenally large amounts of energy that allowed human civilization to leap over the limits set by agriculture. Our beliefs give applied human ingenuity, technology, as the reason for the fantastic advances of the past two centuries. This technology though has been used to utilize the phenomenal and concentrated energy provided by the fossil fuels, without such the steam engine would not have been much use, and without a liquid energy source the internal combustion engine would have remained simply an idea in the same way that the sketches of flying machines and submarines by da Vinci have. The miracles produced with the fossil fuels, which we now take as given, allowed the belief in humanity’s ability to always overcome natural limitations to grow and become an accepted truism.

    The increasing size and complexity of society, which accelerated with the use of fossil fuels, separated the individual from direct involvement in important events and replaced first hand experience with mediated recollections and interpretations of those experiences. Firstly through the pronouncements of church and state, then through the written word and mass industrialized schooling, and then radio, films and television. As agriculture has become mechanized, concentrating the population of the rich and developing countries into urban centres, even the first hand experience of the natural world has been removed. Trips to see “nature” are predominantly to the artificially created national parks and other eco-tourist destinations. The reality of living within nature on a daily basis has been completely lost. Instead, the average citizen exists within a totally human-constructed environment, completely dependent upon others to construct representations of reality outside their small artificial world. These constructed hallucinations have become a new means of control, where the very conceptual structure upon which decisions are made can be controlled through the manipulation of the steady stream of hallucinations that the media and other institutions provide. Both through the selection of events that are deemed coverable, and the interpretation of the larger meanings of those events, reality can be constructed and manipulated.

    This “matrix” may not be as physically invasive as its movie counterpart but is still extremely effective in moulding the thought processes and beliefs of individuals in modern societies. Weapons of mass destruction are created from nowhere, the eradication of countless species is made invisible, and exploitative elites are celebrated. Given that these messages are predominantly controlled by those elites, who are both the most indoctrinated in the ruling beliefs and benefit from them the most, they will tend to reflect and reinforce the validity of such things as exponential growth and the limitless possibilities of human ingenuity. The group hallucinations provided by the media and other institutions of socialization will then reflect this invented reality, obscuring and hiding the actual reality of our ecological destructiveness.

    With the overwhelmingly private media outlets reliant upon advertising revenue for their continued existence, upsetting and challenging content will tend to be either not shown, watered down, or juxtaposed with positive messages. The continuation of the consumer society is central to economic growth and people who connect their consumption habits to the destruction or diminution of the environment upon which they and their offspring are dependent upon may not exactly be the best consumers. Thus, the short-term imperatives of organizational success can overwhelm the longer run considerations of societal survival. This situation has been exacerbated by the concentration of the media, together with the ownership of media organizations by industries tied to continued economic growth and fossil fuel usage. The internet promised access to many new media sources, but in reality has become just as colonized by concentrated private entities which push hallucinations of happiness through consumption, never ending growth and human genius overwhelming all obstacles.

    The flawed and twisted logic propagated through fundamentalist religion still holds sway in many parts of the world, even in some of the most developed countries. To some of these true believers only God can affect large-scale changes and thus to even state that climate change is created by humans can be treated as heresy, and the destruction of the earth’s ecology is not important as God will rescue the true believers by beaming them up to heaven in The Rapture. For the rest of society human technology, endless progress, and economics are the new religions. In the latter, the economy can exist separately from society and even the earth, which is treated as an externality, with the “invisible hand” of the market the new God. Only through its unfettered actions can true happiness and prosperity be achieved, and our miraculous science and technology can replace “natural capital” with human created capital. Any limits can be overcome as humanity will always find a way to substitute for depleted resources and destroyed ecosystems. As with the previous religions, many proponents are true believers but others at least understand that substantial flaws exist but value the status and financial position that the outward display of true belief provides. Such individuals will understand more than even the true believers the importance not to confuse the masses with inconvenient facts and logic which may reduce belief in the new religions which provide them with their wealth and status. As with the previous religions the new ones provide a complex conceptual cover for the true reality, healthily funded by the elites that both benefit most from the status quo and are the most brain-washed with it.

    For individuals to remove themselves from the current “accepted truths” and discover the reality of the situation will be very difficult, and somewhat uncomfortable as such a move will challenge the beliefs of family, friends, colleagues etc. This book provides an alternative story, based more on actual reality than our society’s current stories, to be used both for self-education and as a resource to counter others who are still invested in the dominant beliefs.”

    By Humanity’s Test

  • logspirit

    Okay. Well, with all due respect, to you, aikido, the Buddha, etc, I’d just like to say to mass if she/he is still around that the reply was courteous and well made and I felt it deserved a reply.

    I felt that logspirit’s hammering was rather unfair under the circumstances, and then he left you hanging there.

    I recognise this is a highly emotive topic for some people, particularly logspirit, who has invested a lot in the issue.

    Anybody want to start a thread discussing this stuff on the Forum ?
    Practice some virtual aikido ? I’ll take on all comers at once, that’s what I like to do most, hahaha

    Seriously, I stated my personal position on that earlier thread, a few comments above mass’s, and it’s a very complicated subject, that’s worth trying to clarify, maybe.

    @ ogardener

    Great John Mayall track 🙂

    @ FKling

    Weather Balloon seems eminently reasonable to me.

  • @Ulvfugl:

    “I want to hear the timid, gentle, very quiet ones.. tell me to fuck right off.”
    Fixed that for you… 😉

    “I want to hear the timid, gentle, very quiet ones..”

    Maybe they need to be felt, rather than heard, maybe you cannot help but feel them? If you hear them, maybe they lose the virtue that made them worth hearing? It’s like Freddie Green in the Basie orchestra. From a casual listening to Basie, you wouldn’t even know he had a guitarist- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Green

    “You should never hear the guitar by itself. It should be part of the drums so it sounds like the drummer is playing chords—like the snare is in A or the hi-hat in D minor”
    —Freddie Green

    For my two centimes, even Hendrix was possibly more effective (whatever that means) as a faceless sideman rather than as an iconic frontman. Anyone who thinks that this is a disparagement of his talent will not understand…

  • ulvfugi:

    I am not surprised by your comment in that you will attempt any silly explanation other than the truth, which is too difficult for you to accept since you are so totally invested in your denialist mentality. A weather ballon was suggested as a satirical commentary. Not even the US military tried that flimsy excuse. No balloon, then or now can withstand direct hits from 3″ anti-aircraft fire and strafing by fighter aircraft with no damage; additionally, the only (known) objects of that era,” capable of flight that were similar in “size and shape” to the object spotlighted were “dirigibles” (e.g., the Macon, Akron etc.); however, the same problem exists, as with the balloon theory–they couldn’t withstand the barrage that was executed that night. For that matter, we nor our enemies then or “now” have anything in the inventory that was/is capable of such a feat.

    One final note: the first launch of the Habuti silk balloons wasn’t until two years later in 1944.(It measured just “under 30′” diameter).

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #104

    Ravenous dolphins
    assemble, searching in vain
    for sardines long gone.

  • “—Freddie Green

    @ 18000days

    “For my two centimes, even Hendrix was possibly more effective (whatever that means) as a faceless sideman rather than as an iconic frontman. Anyone who thinks that this is a disparagement of his talent will not understand…”

    You DO come up with the most interesting things. I’ll listen harder when I hear Basie next. And something about Hendrix is a little unsettling. The national anthem stands, however.

  • Secular Spiritualism (if there can be such a thing:)

    The Independent art writer, Tom Lubbock writing about the painting, “Early Sunday Morning” by Edward Hopper stated: “You are looking at a scene without consciousness…(I)t is a view without a viewer.”

    If human eyes are not present, the scene is nonetheless there, real to an entity that can’t be named.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/hopper-edward-early-sunday-morning-1930-744415.html

    More directly referring to the spiritual in Giorgio Morandi, critic Thomas Hoving says: “If it were music, it might be a Gregorian chant.”

    http://www.mashpedia.com/videoplayer.php?q=gqbZUaUtQx0

  • FriedrichKling

    ‘The successful utilization of fossil fuels, first coal and then oil and natural gas, provided both cheap and phenomenally large amounts of energy that allowed human civilization to leap over the limits set by agriculture.’

    I follow your argument but don’t forget the early use of wood and trees, as the ancestor of our carbon burning/using ways. The widespread availability of forests, (remember Sherwood Forest), meant many populations expanded, and the culture of ‘using’ ‘natural resources’ developed en mass.

    http://www.eh-resources.org/wood.html

    ‘The Role of Wood in World History’

    “The destruction of the world’s forests is a major concern in our age. According to the UN about 40 percent of Central America’s forests were destroyed between 1950 and 1980 and during the same period Africa lost about 23 percent of its forests. A whole range of environmental problems is associated with deforestation, among them severe flooding, accelerated loss of soil, encroaching deserts and declining soil productivity1. Sometimes we get the impression that these problems are unique to our time, but vast areas of surface of the earth were stripped of their tree cover well before the modern period…..

    Today it is hard to believe that in antiquity vast forests were growing in the Middle East. However, during the early part of the third millennium BCE, the mountain slopes of this region were covered with massive cedar forests. These forests disappeared in the millennia before Christ’s birth about two thousand years ago. The destruction of the cedar forests of the Middle East is told in the oldest know, surviving written story in the world: The epic of Gilgamesh. The epic was written in Mesopotamia sometime during in the 3rd millennium BCE. The second episode of the epic is known as “The forest Journey” and is the story of deforestation in the Middle East.”

    We might intuit the rest of the path to how we got here….

    Just sayin.

  • OzMan! I’ve been following your quest on the site but haven’t been able to leave any more messages. Some kind of glitch.

    Anyway, I want to say I wish I could walk a few miles with you. I’ll bet you would be a fine companion for a walkaway. Watch out for those platerpusskers, anything with a name like that has to be meaner than… all get out! It’ll sneak into your camp while your sleeping, fill your hand with shaving cream, then tickle you nose! SO WATCH OUT!

    Here in Florida we had our coldest day of the winter, in the low 40s F, on Wednesday. Starting on the very next day, we were back in tshirts and shorts. And some of the oaks, which usually bloom for us in March are already blooming. It’s sad for me because when plants start acting out of season it often means that they’re dying. O well, let the oaks join the rest of the 200 species a day.

    Enjoy your peace and quiet. It’s been my experience that peace and quiet can bring a lot of benefit. Once, after awhile, I started to remember stuff from my childhood that I hadn’t thought of since they happened.

    Hug a tree for me! 🙂

  • @ the virgin terry
    Apologies, somehow I missed your post – perhaps it got time warped out of consecutive appearance. I just happened to notice it accidentally while scrolling up page. Thank you for your concerns and respect. Yes, I am still living/working under very difficult, essentially homeless, powerless, frustrating conditions. Some of the people on this site gave generously, even to the point of personal sacrifice, during my period of extreme existential need. One of these caring individuals is extending help and fresh anticipation of significant improvement, a spot of blue in a cloudy sky. I thank all of them, and all of us should be proud to be part of this gathering of so many intelligent humane people.

    Yes, most humans are trapped in social/societal dependencies these days. Very few can truly say that they are totally self sufficient and living in complete non-harming harmony with nature.

    IMHO, loneliness is an unavoidable fact of life. No matter how much we submerge ourselves into the lives of others, into the maddening crowd… even to the point of forgetting who we are… ultimately, we still interact with the world from our own unique perspectives. We can’t dissolve the divide. Loneliness stimulates relationships. Relationships, with other humans and with the totality of nature are instinctive… so we don’t go crazy from cabin fever – and have something to eat. We’re all in the family of mother nature. Most of us need each other to survive. The unrelieved constant loneliness of the outcast, especially the all but forgotten aged outcasts, ought to be a notorious immoral shame, but human society is a far cry from perfect. Of course, the loneliest among us are those severe individuals who think they don’t need anyone else to survive, at least physically. But I’d guess that honest ordinary misanthropes, at least those who aren’t beyond the pale completely psychopathic, admit loneliness… in private whispers to themselves… in echoes that keep getting louder. Perhaps, to some extent, we’re all pitiful lonely misanthropes.

  • ozMan:

    Thank you for your salient commentary, which I will forward on to the author.

  • Any ideas folks, why these lakes are rising? Perhaps their water tables are linked to the rising oceans not so far away? I’m not sure I can totally explain this, but I believe it most certainly has something to do with anthropogenic warming. Hmmmm….. very sad. More agricultural land lost to the ever-increasing hungry mouths to feed (approximately 220,000+ more every day). We’re in big trouble…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/world/americas/rising-tide-is-a-mystery-that-sinks-island-hopes.html?hp&_r=0

  • @ FKLING

    ..you will attempt any silly explanation other than the truth,

    I know, Kling, I know, it’s GOT to be the ALIENS, silly me…

    @ Artleads

    ..something about Hendrix is a little unsettling. The national anthem stands, however.

    WHAT ??!!

    That says more about you than anything else you’ve ever said here.

    If human eyes are not present, the scene is nonetheless there, real to an entity that can’t be named.

    I say ‘Prove it !’

    @ 18000days

    Fixed that for you…

    Hahahaha. They all look stoned to me.
    You can’t hear him, so why’s he there for 50 years ?
    Perhaps he bought the dope. If they had 100 watt Marshalls
    and wahahs it’d have been a different story ?

    @ Ozman

    Remember Sherwood Forest

    Not what you think. The word meant an area reserved for the King to hunt deer, nothing to do with trees, Sherwood Forest was mostly open ground where dogs could chase the deer, same as other forests.

    Dutch industrial revolution was based on burning peat. They dug so much peat that some towns were left balanced on pillars of peat surrounded by water hundreds of feet deep.

  • U,

    Thanks for the Freddie Green clip. Hendrix would have had to burn the whole place down, not just his guitar. But he couldn’t. Better to be harmless little Freddie Green then? Nobody sees what he’s doing…

  • “The Belgian philosopher and art historian Lieven De Cauter has distinguished between “good politics,” which needs to be decisive in its goals and practices, and “good art,” which is by its nature ambiguous about moral and political commitments. To describe a character in a novel as “good” does not necessarily refer to their morality or politics but may describe the success of the artist in capturing a truth, passing on insights, taking us into exciting or troubling uncharted territories. This seems especially relevant to the present moment. With left politics in limbo, and being at an early stage in building the hope, confidence, and capacities for moving beyond capitalism, the current counter to fatalism is not certitude but possibility and experimentation – terrain that would seem to give special weight to the contribution of “good art.” The weight of art within the political is likewise reinforced by the fact that understanding often begins with the emotional and only then moves on to a concern with the structural limits on our lives.”

    (Sam Gindin, Art in the Age of Fatalism)

    Where it comes to blog posts, for me it’s experimentation, a little like throwing wildflower seeds by the roadside. They don’t always bloom the first few seasons after, and more often never at all. But if someone can think of a better thing to do, more power to them.

  • ulvfogi:

    You are wrong AGAIN. Never did I say the object was piloted by aliens. That’s your stupid projection in an attempt to demean the issue.

    You really are one nasty fuck. As cruel a person as you are it’s ironic that you rely on the goodwill of others for your existence.

  • @ FKLING

    You are wrong AGAIN. Never did I say the object was piloted by aliens. That’s your stupid projection in an attempt to demean the issue.

    You are right ! You didn’t say it was piloted by aliens. And neither did I ! And far be it from me to demean such a vital issue. As you have proven, it could not have been a 30 inch weather balloon, it must have been the weather, minus the balloon. I suggest water vapour. You know, a cloud ? Wass denkst du ?

    You really are one nasty fuck. As cruel a person as you are it’s ironic that you rely on the goodwill of others for your existence.

    Do I ? How so ? You mean my income ?
    Well, that is insurance. You, Friedrich, as an insurance salesman, surely, must comprehend insurance ?
    You pay money in and then you receive money out.
    But in this case it is a PUBLIC insurance scheme, so it does not provide for private capitalist parasites like yourself to rip off the customers.

    The idea is that ALL the money goes to the people. So no goodwill is involved, it’s simple contractual agreement. National Insurance. It was drawn up by the Labour Government after WW2 when the British people had finished defeating the German people, and decided they didn’t want fucking Churchill anymore. They wanted social justice for everybody. Verstehst du ?

  • Gerald: I just now saw your comment. No I haven’t the means (ie. $) to be able to attend, unfortunately. I know a single man who has flown down there at least 5 times now to do the Ayahuasca (yage) experience in the jungle. I think the last time he went down, he meant to stay, but I’ve lost track of him. I couldn’t even attend the talk last year that involved a bunch of the heavy hitters and was only about 100 miles from my home. I read as much as I can (turns out I wouldn’t have enjoyed it much due to the Orlov/women issue) and daily follow the rate of decline, animal die-offs, unbelievable weather, anecdotes of peoples’ journeys and lives, new cases of disease outbreaks, space weather, Fukushima, Bayou-Corne sinkhole, etc. some of which I post here. Then I go about my little life, enjoying every moment I can, knowing how precious they are.

    My employment career is winding down and i’m trying to get my wife to stop working full time so we can sell our house (at a loss) and take what we have left, move out to CA in the area where my son and his wife are, and spend our last days by the (dying) Pacific, blissfully breathing in radioactive particles. She’s not ready to quit yet, but i’m sure in a year or two it won’t matter as she’s “aging out” of the corporate workforce.

  • I just found out a highway is being planned to cut through the Serengeti, suddenly NTE seems a blessing…

  • With thanks to Jason Frank for his poetry, I’ve posted a new essay. It’s here.

  • You periodically express this desire to hear from the timid gentle quiet ones, U,- so I took the opportunity to shine my two watts of torchlight at the ‘problem’ .. 🙂

    I’m not sure how far Freddie Green can be used as an exemplar- he just occured to me spontaneously. Bearing in mind that artistic productions are often compromised by the need to ‘pay the rent’, especially musical productions from an era in which you didn’t even get to record without exhibiting some sort of potential for commercial viability, along with whatever combination of self-belief and socio-economic desperation might make hustling for the gig seem worth the effort. That is arguably almost as true of the 60s as of the 30s…

    ..Well, yeah, given the historical timing, ostensibly timid, gentle, quiet Freddie was not going to be Jimi.. Presumably he could, if he’d wanted, have been more like Django Reinhardt or Charlie Christian? Two guitarists who did advertise their presence..They were all born in the second decade of the 20th century.

    …which begs the question of whether behaviour/relations/character is nature or nurture, freely chosen or enforced, by what degree, and whether it’s possible to tell the difference, especially after a few millenia of domestication and civilisation..

    Before I forget: Thanks for the poems, Jason Frank.. I liked ’em.

  • @ Paul Demorest

    I don’t know if it will get made this time, but all around the world it’s always the same story, and I share your feeling.

    The technosphere destroys, disrupts, devours the biosphere. The biosphere was self-sustaining. When the biosphere collapses, so does the technosphere, because the technosphere cannot sustain itself, it is totally dependent, parasitic upon it’s host. The mass extinction event.

    +100 for the elephant

    https://youtu.be/5fpc1pnKbuQ

  • A question raised in the Doomstead Diner:
    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,1944.0.html

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

    Citing an article in New Scientist, Guy McPherson says IPCC is calling for geoengineering.

    http://transitionvoice.com/2014/01/only-geo-engineering-can-reverse-climate-change-too-bad-it-wont-work/

    Problem is, that very same article in New scientists says of the IPCC’s 2013 report that

    “It will point out that to limit global warming to 2 °C will require cumulative CO2 emissions from all human sources since the start of the industrial revolution to be kept below about a trillion tonnes of carbon. So far, we have emitted about half this. Current emissions are around 10.5 billion tonnes of carbon annually, and rising.”

    The above quote refers to the IPCC’s “carbon budget” of 2013. One cannot be both way over budget AND have lots and lots of wiggle room within it.

    If both claims of the New Scientist article are accurate, the IPCC report simply has to be incoherent.

    Somebody, somewhere — McPherson? New Scientist? the IPCC? — hasn’t done their homework.

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,1944.0.html