Thinking About Thinking

by Geoffrey Chia

By way of preamble, I begin with an insulting message to Professor McPherson:

Dear Guy,

I understand some people have called you insane. They are quite right. By the standards of the prevailing establishment you are completely insane. You are as insane as those abolitionists who opposed slavery. You are as insane as those antiracist activists who fought for civil rights. You are as insane as those Germans who opposed Hitler. If everyone was as insane as you, there would be no wars, there would be no poverty and humanity would not be headed for extinction. This would be completely unacceptable to the truly sane people who run this world, who will not have a bar of your insanity.

“You are a slow learner, Winston.”

“How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”

– 1984

Click here for pdf


On Monday, 24 February 2014, McPherson delivered a presentation about climate chaos at the Odd Fellows Hall on Orcas Island, Washington. Audio file is embedded below, along with a pdf of the Powerpoint file. With apologies for the awkward file arrangement, YouTube video from similar presentations will be embedded within a couple weeks.

The audio file was causing problems (increased bandwidth use by 300x and has potential additional expense for mobile users, who account for around 1/3 of the traffic) and is temporarily disabled.  Support is assisting in getting it back on line in a low-impact format.

Had we not done so, the site would be inaccessible by the end of 2/28/2014.  – Doomer Support.

Orcas Island Powerpoint February 2014


Brief television interview broadcast live in Winnipeg on Friday, 7 February 2014 and available only within Canada is linked here.

Comments 69

  • Please, no downloadable audio of the embedded Orcas island talk?

  • Sorry, John, this is the only format I have for the audio

  • Yes, we were born into an insane world, with no escape. Everyday we live, we destroy everything around us.

  • Here’s info about a better manual for internet mind control. Numerous threads have taken up the subject of Trolls. Well, Glen Greenwald has released Snowden files on the Mother of All Trolls Project.

    Net neutrality may be an interesting concept, but its all part of the we’re toast project brought to you by the Human/Life Thermodynamic Imperative Project. There’s a few caps for you Robin, chuckle, chuckle.

    Have a great day, unless you have other plans,

    Mac in MN

    As I always say: If being miserable makes you happy – knock your self out!

  • The stoat’s behavior is like the propaganda from preachers, politicians and all snake oil pushers. The rest of us are the Rabbits.

  • Note: once you start the audio, you can’t stop it and come back – gotta’ refresh and then restart – bummer. You can’t advance or go back either.

    @ Mac in MN:
    Guy’s focus seems to be much narrower than those who comment here – as well as the authors of the guest essays he posts. Opening up the discussion much beyond the basic idea that global warming will lead to runaway climate change and will lead to NTHE as well as making the planet unable to sustain much, if any, life at all.

    We can discuss the meaning of life, we can discuss the definition of life, we can discuss the nature of life – blah, blah, blah. Are the mountains “alive?” Is Neptune “alive.” etc. etc. etc.

    I was happy when I was young – a simple happiness that was fed by sex, drugs and rock-n-roll along with a pleasant mixture of surfing and skateboarding. I lived the life of a privileged white guy and I knew I had it good.

    I went to college and I received a degree in Architecture with honors. I was a very good student, I didn’t have to work for 6 years so I could dedicate myself to learning. Alas, I was not much of a designer, and I began to steer my studies towards business as a bridge to my graduate degree, an MBA with a focus in Accounting. When I wasn’t studying or skateboarding, I was reading every philosophy book I could as well as a wide range of things considered “classic” or “important.” I especially loved Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller, etc, and they provided a nice change of pace from Plato, Descartes, Montaigne, Lucretius, Voltaire, Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell, etc. I read Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind” and any important book he mentioned went onto my reading list. When I left college I was well beyond my fellows in terms of the breadth and depth of my education – a degree in Architecture is basically a degree in the history of Art, Philosophy, and Engineering – coupled with my MBA and my own extensive reading, I was one smart dude. I was very pleased with myself – and I was happy.

    Then my professional life began, and I quickly realized the whole thing sucked – even though I made good money, traveled a lot, and had lots of nice things. I never married, never had children, and I distanced myself from people as much as possible. I always thought America was going the wrong direction – that bigger and bigger govt was destroying us – taxes, regulations, corrupt politicians, etc… but what was really wrong eluded me. I had always dreamed of being a Native American running loose in the wild – but I still couldn’t put my finger on the true root of my problem. Then I got whacked out on conspiracy theories (911, Illuminati, crop circles, UFOs, JFK, etc.) and that diverted my attention for some time, until I discovered NBL, Xray Mike, and John Michael Greer.

    Believe me, I was never a liberal, “no nukes,” kinda’ guy – but this NBL stuff appealed to me – especially when Guy says that there was probably no stopping the eventuality of our fate. Once we began to plant crops and build cities, it was over. yes, we should have remained in the wild.

    I hate zoos. I hate the circus – always have. And the argument that the zoos are the only place left for some of these animals due to loss of habitat just makes me sick.

    The animals certainly appear to be miserable – but most survive a good many years. If the animal realized it would never be free – would it refuse to eat – commit suicide? I hate seeing the lions pace back and forth…

    Anyway, I now know I cannot be happy as a participant in Civilization – and I have no option to “run free in the wilderness.” So, I’m wasting away in this cage.

    Being miserable is the only logical choice.

  • People are reading about the impending collapse. i was in a public library yesterday (outside Philadelphia) and inquired at the desk about Going Dark. The woman behind the desk and computer screen said that every copy they had was out and that it was “out all over” (ie. if you wanted to get a copy from another library in their system you’d still have to wait).

  • Geoffrey Chia says
    Certain people who are supposedly mentally “normal” are causing most of the harm in the world today Practical outcomes are the most important consideration when defining terms
    and describing such people as normal is not appropriate. They are in fact mentally dysfunctional.
    Accordingly it is clear that Prime Monster Tony Abbott (monstrous refugee abuser,sanctimonious God botherer, fossil fuel industry stooge and gobal warming denier) and his ilk (eg Bankers, Industrialists, Rupert Murdoch, the Republican Tea Party) are among the
    most extremely mentally dysfunctional of all people. In the old parlance they are batshit crazy psychopaths. Islamic terrorists are just as mentally dysfunctional but are much less dangerous to the world.
    Because of the devastation these people have wrought (Abbott and his ilk, not the Islamic terrorists), we face a massive die-off this century. If, against all odds, a few people do survive the massive die-off, but the survivors fail to devise ways of living based on
    eufunctional thinking and behaviour, they too will perish from the Earth from self inflicted stupidity and human extinction will be complete. However this will probably be a good thing for the sake of all other living creatures.

    Geoffrey, I think your condemnations are incomplete. You forgot so called progressives, liberals, democrats and everyone else who talked the talk, but did not make any real changes. This includes almost everyone in the west. Green washing was bullshit from day 1 and anyone who took a closer look could see it. Most did not, because they preferred, self righteousness over truth. Does anyone ever really think about a poor African kid working hip deep in toxic mud all day so we can have the coltan for our smart phones? How about wedding rings? Does anyone believe that piece of paper that says conflict free diamond? It’s all feel good bullshit just like condemning conservatives. Clinton, Obama and their equivalents in the other rich countries have done as much damage, on all fronts, as anyone. It’s just easier for some people to ignore and or justify when they are wearing the same jersey.

  • Tom, I think there’s a whole lot of people out there who are fully cognizant of the score. After all, the basic gist of the concept if pretty straightforward: up until 200 years ago, “… the life of man, (was) solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

    But then, H Sapiens caught the all-time cosmic break, by discovering an energy source that took over 200 million years of solar radiation to create. But were we conservative with our find? Did we dole it out in parsimonious fashion for special events/items? Did we fully comprehend its powerful nature and what it could do to advance humankind?

    Fuck no – we partied like a mofo, culminating in an orgy of consumption where goods are shipped 1/2 away around the world so that they can be used for a short period of time before being discarded in the nearest dump.

    200 short years, and we’re already on the downward slope of EROEI. What’s so hard to comprehend? It’s not, which is why I believe plenty of people, including our “dear leaders”, are perfectly aware of what is happening.

    It’s sort of ironic, but Guy’s message, and his earliest followers, will soon be forgotten. Once the message is common knowledge amongst even the lumpen, what use will it be to continue to harp about doom? Likewise, when everyone comes to accept that nothing can be done, no one will care about the DGR types that stomped off in a huff because the ship wasn’t turned around in time.

    No, the biggest challenge (opportunity in entrepreneur speak) will be the monumental task of re-shaping society, and all of its institutions, to deal with the new normal. Consider that literally millions (billions) of people will be in shock. What kinds of services, procedures, assistance will be needed to guide these people to calm acceptance?

    In many ways, the process could be similar to the way medieval monasteries preserved knowledge for some unknown future. Where are these kinds of monasteries today? How would one even go about establishing a (non-electronic) network of cognoscenti who prepared the necessary groundwork before the deluge washes over everyone?

    This is the big picture – not quitting and taking your ball home, nor attempting to survive via some small, protected enclave against marauders and villains.

  • Geoffrey Chia says: “You are as insane as those abolitionists who opposed slavery. You are as insane as those antiracist activists who fought for civil rights. You are as insane as those Germans who opposed Hitler.”

    Sorry to disagree, but IMHO, these examples focus on morality; not sanity. Whether or not Guy is insane (or, with less hyperbole, mistaken) depends on whether doom is real or not.

    For example, unscientific religious ideas and racial prejudice are not considered mental disorders. Above comment applies only to the present context, roughly speaking. Additional terms, conditions, and restrictions may apply. pat says: Just sitting on this runaway train, staring out the window:

    Runaway Train

    I sit on this runaway train
    Watching the passing terrain;
    There’s not much I can do
    But accept doom is true,
    And wait for the end of the pain.

  • I had a bird. I cut off her wings to save her from falling. I locked her in a small cage to keep her from the cat. I killed her to keep her from death. I loved that bird.
    I’ve been thinking, that cat is too curious. It may cause him harm…. I love that cat.

  • @ Mac in MN

    I already posted that info here in an earlier thread, you must have missed it, and you may also have missed this info, in which case I draw it to people’s attention once again, because I think it’s worth knowing who one’s enemy is, so to speak… well, erm, that’s the problem isn’t it, nobody know who these people are, nobody knows anything about them, they are some rogue element, some sub-sector, of the secret ‘security’ apparatus, nobody voted for them, nobody will name them, nobody controls them, unless it’s from USA and the zionists, but they know EVERYTHING about everybody else, so they can blackmail and manipulate and fuck up whatever they want. Who authorised all that GCHQ shit ? Who knew about it ?

  • @ pat

    Being miserable is the only logical choice.

    But why BE logical ? You’re a star ! :-)

    I mean the logic thing was given to Parmenides by a goddess.

    Just means 1 plus 1 equals two, no ?

    Doesn’t tell us why something exists instead of nothing, does it ?

    What’s logical about that ?

    Anyway, it’s probably safer to be miserable, unless you want to commit suicide by excessive joy

    Similarly, if these individuals obtain one of the goods of this world, their joy thereby increases. Due to their souls being poorly disciplined, such individuals suppose that they have obtained a very great good, and their wonder and exultation greatly magnify what they have obtained. Because of that, they are greatly moved and their laughter and frivolity increase to the point that some of them die from excessive joy.

    IMHO, G. Chia’s analysis is fundamentally flawed. It’s all very well to hammer all the world’s religions, but which belief system is it which is trashing the planet and causing NTE, which has caused this mess ?

    It’s the one HE believes, the Western materialist Cartesian paradigm, which insists that nothing is ‘real’ except for the solid ‘stuff’ out there, everything ‘spiritual’ is illusion and hallucination and some sort of pathology.

    HIS culture is the ONLY culture that has ever existed that has viewed the world in this way, and given itself the right to remake anything and everything in any way it wishes, because nothing is sacred, it’s all ‘just stuff’.

    Of course if his horrible epistemology was accurate, then we would not have any art, because the inner world would not exist, and I suppose, for him, it does not. For many people it does not. But for me, and many others, it’s rich and wondrous, and to speak of it as if it’s some sort of disease, a pathology, is grossly offensive.

    Anyway, the insulting, aggressive, hostile, abusive tone gets us nowhere. The billions of people who follow religions are not going away, nor are they going to suddenly change their view to comply with Chia’s preferences.

    People NEED a spiritual belief system to give them guidance and orientate them through their lives. It’s a shame that some are confused and mistake science as a substitute or replacement for such, when it was never intended to be.

    It would be more constructive to explain to people the difference between science – and scientism – and religion and spirituality, rather than throw petrol onto the fire.

  • Australian Climate Change Council director Professor Tim Flannery is having a web based Q and A session today @ 6:30pm AEST Thursday 27th Feb @:

    Submit questions now if you want an answer @:

    Will and answer to the best question make a jot of difference to the biosphere?

    I have my own answer, getting on the rocket stove design now.

  • Just so nobody complains, those two were yesterday, in my time zone.

    Specifically, the government spends a great deal of manpower and money to monitor which stories, memes and social movements are developing the momentum to actually pose a threat to the status quo.

    For example, the Federal Reserve, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies all monitor social media for stories critical of their agencies … or the government in general. Other governments – and private corporations – do the same thing.


    Because a story gaining momentum ranks high on social media sites. So it has a high probability of bursting into popular awareness, destroying the secrecy which allows corruption, and becoming a real challenge to the powers-that-be.

  • In many ways, the process could be similar to the way medieval monasteries preserved knowledge for some unknown future.

    Their future was known. It was written in the New Testament. The main players were expected to be Homo saps. Nor so far off from what happened.

    This time around, who will be the major players (if any)? Descendants of mice? Or of jellyfish? Or extremophiles? How long after the present? Shrew-like animals took 65 million years (since the great asteroid strike) to produce humans. Jellyfish have two germinal layers, ectoderm & entoderm. Developing a third germinal layer, the mesoderm, and then producing all of present-day animal life took 600 million years, almost another order of magnitude.

    How long will any medium, parchment, stone, paper, gold foil, platinum foil, titanium foil, or whatever last? What symbols etched on such a medium will be understandable to whatever/whoever is around whenever?

  • Robin Datta

    “How long will any medium, parchment, stone, paper, gold foil, platinum foil, titanium foil, or whatever last? What symbols etched on such a medium will be understandable to whatever/whoever is around whenever?”

    The same problems were looked at by the designers/builders of ‘Onkalo’.

    ‘Into Eternity’

    Onkalo, possibly the only genuine attempt to responsibly sequester radiological material – the Bad Stuff!!- out of the biosphere for their ‘biologically’ harmful lifetimes. AKA: Eternity in human scale terms.

  • Eternity in human scale terms.

    But the times are not long enough in terms of biological evolution. And if you etch symbols on the tunnels, will they be around 65 million years from now, and will who/what is around then understand the symbols?


    “Just remember this, my girl, when you look up in the sky
    You can see the stars and still not see the light (that’s right)

    “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key”

    I would like to read “Going Dark” but my mind went dark years ago. lol


    Law will hit deep-sea drilling protesters

    The public will lose their right to formally oppose deep-sea oil and gas exploration from tomorrow.

    A law change will see applications by oil giants go through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will now be “non-notified” preventing members of the public lodging a formal protest.

    Environment Minister Amy Adams said the new classification was the “pragmatic option” for exploratory drilling. She believed it provided regulation “proportionate to its effects”.

    An overhaul of the laws and regulations governing the oil and gas industry “will provide effective oversight and environmental safeguards without burdening industry with excessive costs and timeframes”.

    Operators must now submit to the EPA an assessment that identifies “impacts” on the environment. The firms must also demonstrate they consulted with interested parties.

    The change was introduced by way of a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) which meant it didn’t go through a parliamentary select committee.

    The move followed the controversial “Anadarko Amendment” which saw a ban on protesting at sea. Labour Minister Simon Bridges was criticised for introducing it as an SOP, also avoiding select committee scrutiny, and kowtowing to oil companies.

    If an oil company strikes oil they must apply for a new marine consent for production. At this stage, the public are allowed to make submissions on the proposed activities.

    Texan oil giant Anadarko are currently test-drilling off the coast of Oamaru, after a recent expedition off Raglan failed to yield any results.

    The Green Party said the new regulations “muzzle” the public.

    “The Government legislated to stop people voicing their opposition at sea, and now they are locking them out on land,” energy spokesman Gareth Hughes said.


    Thursday, 27 February 2014


    Monsanto’s Roundup may be linked to fatal kidney disease, new study suggests

    A heretofore inexplicable fatal, chronic kidney disease that has affected poor farming regions around the globe may be linked to the use of biochemical giant Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide in areas with hard water, a new study has found.

    The new study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

    Researchers suggest that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the kidney once mixed with “hard” water or metals like arsenic and cadmium that often exist naturally in the soil or are added via fertilizer. Hard water contains metals like calcium, magnesium, strontium, and iron, among others. On its own, glyphosate is toxic, but not detrimental enough to eradicate kidney tissue.

    The glyphosate molecule was patented as a herbicide by Monsanto in the early 1970s. The company soon brought glyphosate to market under the name “Roundup,” which is now the most commonly used herbicide in the world.

    The hypothesis helps explain a global rash of the mysterious, fatal Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown etiology (CKDu) that has been found in rice paddy regions of northern Sri Lanka, for example, or in El Salvador, where CKDu is the second leading cause of death among males.

    Furthermore, the study’s findings explain many observations associated with the disease, including the linkage between the consumption of hard water and CKDu, as 96 percent of patients have been found to have consumed “hard or very hard water for at least five years, from wells that receive their supply from shallow regolith aquifers.” [there’s more]

  • Ulvfugl,

    I wanted to say something about scientism, but Geoffrey’s and Rebecca’s essay does start out by warning off religious fanatics and New Age ideologues…

    It’s all in your head…
    You just have no idea how big your head is.

  • @ Martin

    I know. It’s a bugger, isn’t it. Infinite vastness.
    Where does it start ? Where does it stop ?
    Am I the only one without a head ?
    Douglas effing Harding

    And now I find that the Wisdom of Solomon, the headless god, whatever, they were actually BEHEADED, like John the Baptist, and then they preserved the heads in the special jars, Baphomets, ffs, are they STILL doing that ?

  • Ulv,

    Do you mean a canopic jar?

    Have you seen the lyrics for the Incredible String Band song Douglas Traherne Harding

  • Gaia

    Humans passed through, but you know,
    Constant change means no status quo;
    Their impact was strong,
    But they didn’t last long—
    Species: they come and they go.

  • A famous economist recently declared that climate MIGHT affect prices. WTF?

  • At any rate, I now understand those lyrics or, rather, their provenance, thanks to you. You never fail to surprise.

    When I was born I had no head/
    My eye was single and my body was filled with light/
    And the light that I was, was the light that I saw by/
    And the light that I saw by, was the light that I was/

  • ♫ Coz I’m leavin’ on a Jet Plane ♫

    ♫ It’s Jevons Paradox Again ♫

    ♫ And the Khazzoom Brookes postulate ♫

  • How long will Mount Rushmore last?

    If we’re left with enough of a drought, erosion will be stalled.

    Will the New Shrews continue to worship the Ape as a God?

    I sure hope not, but the fact remains…

    …There are faces on the mountainside.

  • Sociopathy

    In tribes, if someone’s too sly,
    They’ll be getting a stick through their eye;
    But a big global scene
    Allows folks to be mean,
    And that’s why we’re all going to die.

    Social Customs

    We used to think death wasn’t good,
    And suicide, nothing one should;
    But what’s coming through
    Will make people do
    Things that they never thought they would.

    Something To Look Forward To

    Deniers try to insist
    Global warming doesn’t exist;
    But once they conclude
    They were wrong, plus they’re screwed,
    They’re going to be mightily pissed.

    Climate and Weather

    When we’re at the end of our tether
    From deniers, let’s say it together:
    We’ll still be all through,
    But get a fucking clue:
    Climate is different from weather.

  • @ Martin

    Thankyou for pointing me to the Incredible String Band lyrics, I’ll possibly use that in what I’ve been writing.

    Douglas Harding was fine, akin to an inspired genius zen master.

    The other thing I mentioned was of an entirely different order, something unspeakably gruesome. According to some crackpot Ickean-type theorist, the Templars rushed to Palestine during the 1st Crusade because they wanted to discover ‘the ultimate secrets’ which turned out to be that the wisdom of Suleiman was divination by ritual murder, culminating in beheading, the heads then being preserved for future consultation. They then revived this practice which was why they were forcibly disbanded, but it was then, it is suggested, continued by the top degree masons. Of course, this is a sinister ‘conspiracy theory’, erm, without any, erm, evidence to support it. So I shall leave the matter to rest. Some thing are best left unmentioned. Or left to the imagination ?

    Of course magical books need not have been published at all. And if they were, they could be censored. Perhaps the most famous example of such bowdlerized esoteric literature is R. Hayyim Vital’s Sha’arei Qedushah (Gates of Holiness): All printed editions since the editio princeps (Istanbul, 1734) have excluded its “practical” fourth section, Ma’amar Hitbodedut (On Solitary Meditation). This section opens with Vital’s reminder that although revelations of the Holy Spirit can be obtained through holiness and Torah study, they can also be achieved by carrying out “a specific action” [‘al yedei ma’aseh prati]. Detailed instruction in such techniques constitutes this last section of Vital’s guide. If the reader might imagine that he was about to receive the keys to the kingdom, the publisher, however, demurred. After a mere introductory paragraph, the reader encounters the following editorial insertion: “The publisher says: This fourth section is not to be copied and not to be printed because it is entirely Names and the Combinations [serufim] and hidden secrets that it is unlawful [asher lo ke-dat] to bring upon the altar of the press.”

  • Even Mr. Lopate TWICE mentioned the possibility of human extinction during the interview. Ms. Kolbert agreed with Mr. Lopate’s suggestion that humans are the most invasive species.

    The Leonard Lopate Show: The Coming Sixth Extinction – WNYC

  • Scientific American “Science Talk” podcast discussing the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and intelligence:

    Found In Space [Part 1]

    Part 2 can be accessed by clicking the “Space” link.

    If a civilisation lasts 25,000 years, and one halfway across the galaxy (50,000 light-years away) sent a signal in our direction that we receive now, that civilisation has been dead for at least 25,000 years.

    In our case agriculture started 10,000 years ago, and “civilisations” (from the same verbal root as “city”) date back to about half that time.

  • Geoffrey Chia,

    Thinking? We’ll have none of that on NBL. rofl

  • ulvfugl, excuse me, but religion is in fact playing a part in the destruction of the world, for it was religion that came up with the idea that this world was created by God for humans to enjoy.

    Science may have given us the tools, but it was religion that gave us the motivation to consider this planet as nothing but a temporary stop on the way to heaven.

    So it’s kind of a “who’s responsible for the murder, the guy who made the gun or the guy who fired it”?

    In my opinion, religion made the gun, the scientists are simply using it.

    Don’t throw petrol onto the fire you say? While you constantly bash scientists (who were trying to warn us about this outcome all along, only for us to dismiss their claims as just another faith)?

  • Addendum:

    Also, you’re conflating “Western Capitalism” with “science.” But the two don’t actually go together; it was the Puritans who gave western capitalism the boost it needed when the Puritans started claiming that wealth was a sign of God’s favor, a.k.a. Calvinism.

    You may find Max Weber’s work about the Protestant work ethic (notice it’s not called the science work ethic) to be useful here.

  • Wait. Crud. I wrote that making the gun example backwards. Typo, sorry. That’s supposed to read, the scientists made the gun, but it was the religious people who decided to use it improperly, so ultimately they’re responsible for the “murder”, as it were.

  • @ Librarian

    Oh, but excuse me, I’ve been hammering away at this here for a year and more, it’s not my fault if people don’t read what I say, is it.

    Look, because I attack the failings of one side, it does not follow that I, ulvfugl, support the OTHER side, does it. Why do you assume that I am a supporter of RELIGIONS ?

    I’m NOT. I have my own peculiar vantage point, the raven sitting on the branch of the tree, overlooking the battlefield…

    What I am saying is that there is a tragic and ghastly mess out there which is causing a mass extinction event to descend upon this planet.

    No doubt at all that religion is ONE of the causes. You cannot lump ALL religions together, as Chia does, as if they ALL believe the same thing. That’s ludicrous and only someone totally ignorant and wantonly offensive would do that. There are THOUSANDS of religions, covering a vast ranges of beliefs.

    The word itself is useless. Better to call them belief systems.

    But if they all vanished, does that mean we’d be better off and happy and not in this mess ? Of course not !

    The Machine that’s devouring everything is Corporate Capitalism which uses science and technology. It does not CARE what anyone’s religion is ! It just buys whatever it needs to exploit and destroy the Earth’s natural resources and convert them into products that it can market and turn into money. The finance and banking system which drives consumer capitalism doesn’t care about religion does it.

    The Chinese are now the biggest consumers of oil and the biggest polluters, THEY don’t see this ‘planet as a temporary stop on the way to heaven’ do they.

    That’s a bizarre conception of a few North American Protestant Fundamentalists. To equate those people’s cranky beliefs with ‘religion’ is ridiculous’. There’s hundreds and hundreds of millions of Hindus and Buddhists and Moslems and others who have completely DIFFERENT beliefs, who see the world quite differently, but they still consume and pollute and do business just the same, and they’ll still destroy nature just the same because they want food to feed themselves and water for their crops, etc.

    Imo, Chia’s analysis is basically wrong. He thinks that science is the solution and that technology and rationalism can solve the problem.

    I don’t think that there IS any solution. Science and technology make things WORSE, more complicated, we just stack more problems on top of the previous problems.

    But we don’t learn. We are still stuck in the ‘Progress myth’. Frankenstein to Fukushima.

    Now we’ll get intentional geoengineering to try and fix the mess we made by the unintentional geoengineering. It’ll make things even worse.

    Tainter’s complexity thing. If we were a small scale intelligent community we could rationally scale back to something more viable, but everything is out of control, as per Ukraine, the psychopaths run the show.

    I know WHY Chia attacks the religious nutcases who are anti-science, that’s obvious, and I take his side. But that’s not the root of the problem, is it.

    Tony Abbot and Harper and Cameron, etc, are not religious fundamentalists, they are just unprincipled scum who go where the money pushes them.

    There’s a global neo-liberal conspiracy by the bankers and corporations to grab everything that’s left. They are basically fascists, they want to take away all democratic rights, and all impediments that protect the environment, so that they can make as much money as possible as fast as possible, so they can survive, for as long as possible.

    That has NOTHING to do with RELIGION. Scientists will work for those corporations, because scientists want to be paid, so scientists will HELP to bring on NTE.

    Scientists have no moral or ethical or spiritual code which guides them and prevents them from destroying the planet and the biosphere. If they are paid to develop something, that’s what they do.

    G. Chia, like many other people want’s to privilege left brain / logos ways of knowing and being in the world, over right brain / mythos ways of knowing and being in the world.

    My position is that both are of equal value, we need both and we cannot help having both.

    Once this is understood, you can move up a level, so to speak. You then take the perspective that Einstein took. He was both religious and scientific. He explained religion in rational terms. I think that is a far more constructive approach than Chia’s dismissal, which is more or less saying that spiritual people are mentally ill and all religion is delusion.

  • Even astrophysicists recognise that we won’t be around forever.


    Early Wildfire Season in New Mexico Starts as U.S. Considers New Funding Sources to Fight Extreme Wildfires

    Friday, 28 February 2014
    Civil unrest and climate change

    Written in 2012, but never more relevant

    We Are Now One Year Away From Global Riots, Complex Systems Theorists Say

    What’s the number one reason we riot? The plausible, justifiable motivations of trampled-upon humanfolk to fight back are many—poverty, oppression, disenfranchisement, etc—but the big one is more primal than any of the above. It’s hunger, plain and simple. If there’s a single factor that reliably sparks social unrest, it’s food becoming too scarce or too expensive. So argues a group of complex systems theorists in Cambridge, and it makes sense.

    In a 2011 paper, researchers at the Complex Systems Institute unveiled a model that accurately explained why the waves of unrest that swept the world in 2008 and 2011 crashed when they did. The number one determinant was soaring food prices. Their model identified a precise threshold for global food prices that, if breached, would lead to worldwide unrest.

    The MIT Technology Review explains how CSI’s model works: “The evidence comes from two sources. The first is data gathered by the United Nations that plots the price of food against time, the so-called food price index of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. The second is the date of riots around the world, whatever their cause.” Plot the data, and it looks like this:

    Pretty simple. Black dots are the food prices, red lines are the riots. In other words, whenever the UN’s food price index, which measures the monthly change in the price of a basket of food commodities, climbs above 210, the conditions ripen for social unrest around the world. CSI doesn’t claim that any breach of 210 immediately leads to riots, obviously; just that the probability that riots will erupt grows much greater. For billions of people around the world, food comprises up to 80% of routine expenses (for rich-world people like you and I, it’s like 15%). When prices jump, people can’t afford anything else; or even food itself. And if you can’t eat—or worse, your family can’t eat—you fight.

    But how accurate is the model? An anecdote the researchers outline in the report offers us an idea. They write that “on December 13, 2010, we submitted a government report analyzing the repercussions of the global financial crises, and directly identifying the risk of social unrest and political instability due to food prices.” Four days later, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire as an act of protest in Tunisia. And we all know what happened after that [rioting].

    Today, the food price index is hovering around 213, where it has stayed for months—just beyond the tip of the identified threshold. Low corn yield in the U.S., the world’s most important producer, has helped keep prices high.

    “Recent droughts in the mid-western United States threaten to cause global catastrophe,” Yaneer Bar-Yam, one of the authors of the report, recently told Al Jazeera. “When people are unable to feed themselves and their families, widespread social disruption occurs. We are on the verge of another crisis, the third in five years, and likely to be the worst yet, capable of causing new food riots and turmoil on a par with the Arab Spring.”

    Yet the cost of food hasn’t quite yet risen to the catastrophic levels reached last year. Around the time of the riots cum-revolutions, we saw the food price index soar through 220 points and even push 240. This year, we’ve pretty consistently hovered in the 210-216 range—right along the cusp of danger. But CSI expects a perilous trend in rising food prices to continue. Even before the extreme weather scrambled food prices this year, their 2011 report predicted that the next great breach would occur in August 2013, and that the risk of more worldwide rioting would follow. So, if trends hold, these complex systems theorists say we’re less than one year and counting from a fireball of global unrest.

  • Benjamin td – awesome display ma man! See if you can do something with hunger and rioting as a subject.

    China’s toxic air pollution resembles nuclear winter, say scientists

    Air pollution now impeding photosynthesis and potentially wreaking havoc on country’s food supply, experts warn

    Chinese scientists have warned that the country’s toxic air pollution is now so bad that it resembles a nuclear winter, slowing photosynthesis in plants – and potentially wreaking havoc on the country’s food supply.

    Beijing and broad swaths of six northern provinces have spent the past week blanketed in a dense pea-soup smog that is not expected to abate until Thursday. Beijing’s concentration of PM 2.5 particles – those small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream – hit 505 micrograms per cubic metre on Tuesday night. The World Health Organisation recommends a safe level of 25.

    The worsening air pollution has already exacted a significant economic toll, grounding flights, closing highways and keeping tourists at home. On Monday 11,200 people visited Beijing’s Forbidden City, about a quarter of the site’s average daily draw.

    He Dongxian, an associate professor at China Agricultural University’s College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, said new research suggested that if the smog persists, Chinese agriculture will suffer conditions “somewhat similar to a nuclear winter”.

    She has demonstrated that air pollutants adhere to greenhouse surfaces, cutting the amount of light inside by about 50% and severely impeding photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light into life-sustaining chemical energy.

    She tested the hypothesis by growing one group of chilli and tomato seeds under artificial lab light, and another under a suburban Beijing greenhouse. In the lab, the seeds sprouted in 20 days; in the greenhouse, they took more than two months. “They will be lucky to live at all,” He told the South China Morning Post newspaper.

    She warned that if smoggy conditions persist, the country’s agricultural production could be seriously affected. “Now almost every farm is caught in a smog panic,” she said.

    Early this month the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences claimed in a report that Beijing’s pollution made the city almost “uninhabitable for human beings”. [read the rest]

  • Be careful of those presenting esoteric “knowledge”, obscure name drops and secret wisdom. There might be a trace of truth, but it is mostly bullshit.
    We are all done, anyway.

  • @ mt

    Is that addressed to me ?
    You think I am NOT careful and fully aware ? :-)

    I replied to Librarian at length, it has not appeared (yet).

  • Thinking about Thinking

    If humans are the manifestation of the Earth’s eyes, ears, smell, touch and taste reflecting back on it’s self in a mobius loop, it’s a sadist irony that the very consciousness that the Earth produced from the totality of the Web of Life here is destroying that very being it arose from.

    Those caves painting from certain very select humans from 30-40 thousand years ago are marvelous creations of individual consciousness but even way back then probably only represented a tiny minority of all h sapians, the rest really were knuckle dragging mouth breathers, same as today.

    All the creatures of the Earth do not seem to project forward and backward through ‘time’ like h sapian.

    Ah, the curse of self reflection.

    From Walt Whitman:

    “I think I could turn and live with animals,
    they are so placid and self-contained,
    I stand and look at them long and long.

    They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
    They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
    They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
    Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of
    owning things,
    Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of
    years ago,
    Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

    So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
    They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their

    I wonder where they get those tokens,
    Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?


  • It’s all okay:

    “The oil industry has federal permission to dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater a year directly into the ocean off California’s coast.”

    Industry and government are working hand in hand to keep us safe, happy and secure.

    Or is that a winding sheet for the grave?

  • Double talk, double talk
    Scattered brains
    Rhyme and reason
    Pleasure pain

    Double talk, double talk
    Make me blue
    It’s all false
    But it’s all true

    Confuse them with your facts
    Straps across those backs
    Confident secure
    Lonely and a blur

    Double talk

  • It seems appropriate to wish a very happy non-birthday to our host, Dr. Guy McPherson. Today (28 February) is not his birthday. Tomorrow (1 March) is not his birthday. His birthday falls into that magical space in between the two.

    Happy non-birthday Guy!

    By the way… He likes ice cream.

    A lot.

  • @ Librarian

    While you constantly bash scientists (who were trying to warn us about this outcome all along, only for us to dismiss their claims as just another faith)?

    That’s not what I do.

    I bash religion just as much. My position is that all we have are stories, both are just stories. Science is a special class of story, in so much as it has to be attached to measurable, testable evidence.

    What I bash most is when the people telling one story start saying that their story – catholicism, communism, scientism – is the only valid story, and everybody else is mad, bad, wrong, and preferably, dead.

    I have NEVER dismissed the claims of science re this outcome, re climate and NTE, never in my life. I’ve never been against science on the grounds of ‘faith’, I’ve never been a Christian, for that matter.
    I used to be far more pro-science, until recent years.

    If you want to know who first saw where capitalism and the industrial revolution would take us, that was the mystic William Blake, and probably the next was the novelist Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. I’d say those were the first two clear warnings we got.
    Then there’s the fellow Guy mentions, George Perkins Marsh.

    Also, you’re conflating “Western Capitalism” with “science.” But the two don’t actually go together; it was the Puritans who gave western capitalism the boost it needed when the Puritans started claiming that wealth was a sign of God’s favor, a.k.a. Calvinism.

    I’m not conflating. I’m aware of the separate strands. This is NOW, that was then. It wasn’t ‘scientists’ that started the industrial revolution, it was tradesmen and engineers.

    You may find Max Weber’s work about the Protestant work ethic (notice it’s not called the science work ethic) to be useful here.

    I’m familiar with it. Abraham Darby was a Quaker. So what ?

    We know all this. Thales, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, The Royal Soceity, Descartes, Leibniz, Newton, The Freemasons, the Protestant Reformation, East India Co. Herbert Spencer, the American Robber Barons, etc and in the last few decades financialisation and globalisation and more damage done than in all the rest of human history put together.

    I don’t know why you, like RE, want to think in simplistic binary chessboard terms, where science is white and religion is black. That’s absurd.

    We have any incredibly complex mix of thousands of influences in a dynamic system that’s driven by banking and money, capitalism, that converts the resources, the living planet, nature, into other forms, for profit.

    It can’t stop, because if it does, it will collapse, because it is inherent in the way it is made that it has to keep expanding and growing.

    This NOW has nothing to do with either science or religion, although both were involved with its history.

    Fundamentally, imo, The Machine is imperialist industrial civilisation and corporate capitalism, which eats everything, and science and religion are side issues.

    @ mt

    No what ? :-)

    Not addressed to me ? Not fully aware ?

    If the latter, example of what you mean please ?

  • Thanks Tom! (Those appeared kinda late—glad you didn’t miss them! :)

    Thinking About Thinking


    islandraider says: “…happy non-birthday to our host, Dr. Guy McPherson…. He likes ice cream.”

    Happy Unbirthday To Guy

    Happy Unbirthday to you,
    And thanks for the work that you do;
    Enjoy some ice cream
    While you make the world seem
    All changed to a doom point of view.

    The Last Generation

    Twenty thirty will get to us fast,
    So if that’s when our time here is past,
    Kids born after one four
    Won’t grow up to have more:
    Our next generation’s the last.

  • OzMan! You asked me to report any progress regarding rocket stoves. Well, I took the forms off two stoves today. They are like the concrete stoves in the video I posted from a few threads back.

    One is 5 gal. bucket size. The other is a mini, formed with a plastic 1 gal. plant pot, using 1-1/2″ PVC to form tray and flue. Both burn good, I can’t believe my good fortune in learning about the mighty rocket stove!

    I’m most likely going to start making them for everybody I know. But, I’ll start mixing perlite with the concrete to lighten the load. The big one I made weighs about 100 pounds! But what the hey, it can sit in my back yard as a plant stand and home for lizards, growing moss until I need it.

    @EDDIE, when you fire up your rocket stove at the gathering you wrote about be sure to post links here, or I’ll miss it.

    @RE, you too. Please inform us when your coverage of the event comes on line.

    Again, I have no illusions regarding NTE, we’re toast. I have no idea how long this melancholy melodrama will play on. But I want to provide some comfort to my special people during the rough parts. Especially at the beginning, when they will all be in shock, staggering around in sack cloth and ashes, groking the WALL they just hit.

  • Yes! Happy Unbirthday Guy! I’m popping open some freeze dried ice cream to celebrate!

  • OzMan! You asked me to report any progress regarding rocket stoves. Well, I took the forms off two stoves today. They are like the concrete stoves in the video I posted from a few threads back.

    One is 5 gal. bucket size. The other is a mini, formed with a plastic 1 gal. plant pot, using 1-1/2″ PVC to form tray and flue. Both burn good, I can’t believe my good fortune in learning about the mighty rocket stove!

    I’m most likely going to start making them for everybody I know. But, I’ll start mixing perlite with the concrete to lighten the load. The big one I made weighs about 100 pounds! But what the hey, it can sit in my back yard as a plant stand and home for lizards, growing moss until I need it.

    @EDDIE, when you fire up your rocket stove at the gathering you wrote about be sure to post links here, or I’ll miss it.

    @RE, you too. Please inform us when your coverage of the event comes on line.

    Again, I have no illusions regarding NTE, we’re toast. I have no idea how long this melancholy melodrama will play on. But I want to provide some comfort to my special people during the rough parts. Especially at the beginning, when they will all be in shock, staggering around in sack cloth and ashes, groking the WALL they just hit

  • Begged question. I don’t think religion is black, or science is white, or whatever.

    What I think is that I’m sick. I’m sick of religious people never paying consequences for the harm they cause, while atheists get raked over the coals forevermore for the crimes of Stalin, or Mao, etc.

    When scientists have bad ideas, ulvfugl, the public gets mad at them, and we have to hear them denounced endlessly via talk radio, etc.

    When religious people have bad ideas, the public worships them, and we’re constantly told we must be tolerant and respectful of them.

    Truthfully, ulvfugl, as far as the general public is concerned, it’s the other way around: when religion screws up, they’re perfect saints and how mean I am for attacking them. When science screws up, it’s attacked from all sides, left and right alike.

    That was what I meant. It was more a matter of “consequences and how certain people, such as the religious, never pay any.”

    Does that clear things up?

  • @ Librarian

    “first prophecies were the words of an oak”, and that those who lived at that time found it rewarding enough to “listen to an oak or a stone, so long as it was telling the truth”. Plato in the Phaedrus.

    All the people’s of the world, that we know of, have seen the world in that way, as a living thing.

    We know what happened, first with Thales, who science celebrates, the first materialist, then with Descartes, who insisted not just that oaks and stones were just ‘stuff’ but that it was okay to take live dogs apart without any anaesthetic because despite their screams and howls, they had no souls and were just machines.

    That was the political settlement with the Catholic Church. Science could have ‘the material stuff’, the Church got ‘the spiritual stuff’, which, as far as the scientists were concerned didn’t even exist anyway, so they were happy with the deal.

    So that was the tragic stage setting.

    A mechanistic dead world of meaningless stuff, for the scientists.

    And a holy sacred invisible world, ruled by God, for a corrupt Rome.

    And the the Protestants and their schism, and their version, which as you said, with Luther and Calvin and all the many variations, gets taken to America, with capitalism and a God who has abandoned this world, who lives faraway in some distant Heaven, leaving this world to be turned into a hell by bankers, robber barons, puritan lunatics, snake oil tv evangelists, and ‘greed is good fanatics’.

    None of the mainstream belief systems have any remnant of ‘loving a living planet’ built in to their daily lifestyle agendas. The only people left who are even close are the few ethnic tribal peoples who are rapidly being killed off and having their lands and resources and cultures trashed.

    Of course, under Geoffery Chia’s modern materialist mechanistic medical psychiatric paradigm of what ‘reality’ is, those people’s ontology and epistemology, their listening to oaks and stones, would be considered as pathological.

    If you listen to scientists talking about their concern re the climate and environmental degradation, typically, they don’t want to ‘save’ whatever it is, just because it is, and it is wonderful and its our Mother, and we have no right to harm it, their arguments are all utilitarian, that we need such and such, for the benefit of humans, to get more scientific knowledge, to advance the economy, GDP, etc, blahblah.

    The ancients knew that the world had intrinsic value because they were connected and talked to it and with it. The semiosphere…

    Seems nobody understands this…

    Scientists least of all…

    This is why we get NTE. We have so far lost track of where we ought to be, and now there is no time left… everybody gets crazier and crazier as collapse gains pace…

  • The ‘problem’ is much deeper than all these more symptomatic ones discussed here; For one, every organism seeks to remove constraints on its limits. We humans just happen to have temporarily circumvented all limits. Secondly, the laws of nature drive greater complexity via available energy and resources, and then seek to degrade these as entropy. Finally, we happen to be cursed with the self awareness of our own mortality, which drives us mad with the creation of destructive, reality filtering myths regarding this ontological awareness. THESE are the things we are truly up against. All others are just red herrings. As painful as the truth is, we would be in much better shape if we had accepted it earlier on.

  • Good precis, Bailey. That’s the Elevator Speech of Doom. :-)

  • Signs of the slide into collapse: our Gestapo (i.e. Department of Homeland Security) in action.

    Gestapo = Geheime Staatspolizei, “Secret State Police”), a suboffice of the Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo) (“Security Police”)

    The Beast bares its teeth

  • Paul, I think it was Scott Peck who said something like, “Neurosis is the substitute for legitimate suffering.” We are all about to do some heavy duty legitimate suffering – and the price goes up each time it is not paid at the counter.

  • Yeah,
    Happy-split-second-Birthday Guy !!

    13 and a quarter, wow.

  • Have run out of my “own” words, what else is there to say really… so here’s a lullaby to pre-termination jitters

  • @ Librarian

    Does that clear things up?

    I hear your anger, frustration, despair, that there is no justice, and the world is not fair…

    But you’re talking about the USA, a very parochial view, less than 5% of global population. Yes, they’re batshit crazy, all that was settled 100 years ago over here. In Europe there IS no science v. religion debate.

    The way I see it we got, more or less by chance, belief systems that hold that the planet is just ‘dead stuff’ and we need have no respect for it.

    The scientists see it that way, and the major religions too, they put everything sacred into their one divinity who go dispatched far away from His Creation.

    Science and capitalism have no moral or spiritual guidance, not their department.

    The religions take no responsibility for the material world, not their department.

    Both belief systems lead to a dead planet and so not surprising that’s what we get.

    My original point was that for them to keep blaming the other doesn’t help.

    You have to analyse the history correctly, explain where they went wrong. Not that that will help either, because it’s too late.

    But this is the Beach of Doom. Passes the time.

  • Here is some lite entertainment from here in Afraidia, on The Beach of Doom:

    ‘Tony Abbott denies climate change and advocates carbon tax in the same breath’

    This came from me just typing in ‘Tony Abbott denies’ into my favoured search engine….
    You have no idea how many hits this got.

    Try it with your own naysayer politician, in this case for those who don’t know, big Tony is Afraidia’s PM.

    Big Tony also defunded the Climate Change Commission:

    ‘Abbott shuts down Climate Commission’

    …And he also withdrew the long standing Federal Cabinet portfolio of a Science Minister(no Science Minister needed it seems):

    ‘An invisible, odourless, weightless science minister for Australia’

    ‘Tony Abbott has not included a science minister in new Cabinet’

    …And now big Tony has set up a commission to look carefully at the present Renewable Energy Targets:

    ‘Renewable Energy Target review announced by Government will examine clean energy impact on power prices’

    I heard a Greens rep speaking on radio last week. They said one of the preliminary recommendations in a recent report on Afraidia’s renewable energy sector was to stop having reviews so often as it drive uncertainty in investment…. ;) ???

    No…. Really?

  • @Ulfugl

    Explaining things to Librarian, who could improve it? Nobody here.

    @ Librarian

    Read between Ulfvugl’s lines and go out there and reconnect with the Earth (her biosphere, you could say her creation).Sorry to use religious language but we need words to express this and we have no others. This is an example when we should not take things too literally and just allow our feelings and experience to guide us.

    It’s too late for humanity and all other life forms, but it might help you, believe me. Religare, the Latin root of religion simply means to reconnect.You might know this already, I’m not trying to be patronising. But I think it could be important to focus on that. Therefore you could say that what Ulfvugl describes is the only true religion.

    If enough Americans could get away from one god, resurrection to eternal life (heaven) and its opposite for so-called sinners (non-believers), you wouldn’t have that debate on your side of the pond. And don’t put your “faith” into enlightenment tech instead like Geoffery Chia. That doesn’t work either, hence his frustration and anger. There are no solutions. We’ve fucked it up major.

    Make your peace with all life you come meet on a daily basis (include all plants, of course)and just accept, while still living as if you could save the world. If you’re not naturally hedonistic, that’s relatively easy, but it takes time. Shut your ears to all the bat-shit craziness that surrounds you and concentrate on the only reality, your life now in relation to other life forms. Take care of yourself.

  • @ Bailey,

    It was Jung, not M. Scott Peck.

    @ Sabine,

    That’s right. The language that we need to arrive at a right relationship with the world was long ago co-opted by religion. So it becomes difficult to describe “your life now in relation to other life forms” without sounding like a religionist. But with those few words you have described it exactly.

    If enough Americans could get away from one god

    I like what Allen Ginsberg said: “Why does there have to be one?” :)


    I’m finding it hard to muster a sustained argument about this sort of thing these days. Perhaps it’s because I believe everyone at NBL understands very well that humanity’s predicament is many-sided, and has been a long time in the making, and so therefore Librarian, for example, is, like everyone else, aware of why Geoffrey’s essay is too one-sided.

  • Just saw this and thought I would post it. Have no other information.

  • I’ve posted a new guest essay, along with new poetry (also from a guest writer). It’s all here.

  • @ Sabine

    Thank you so much for the kind supportive remarks. I don’t think I do the topic justice really, but I keep trying.

    @ Librarian

    How about this, you’re very intelligent, educated, a sophisticated thinker, A Causal Narrative