To Go Extinct or Not Go Extinct, that is the Question?

Off the keyboard and microphone of RE

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Simulcasted on the Doomstead Diner on April 5, 2014

http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/RIP-human-race.jpg

Discuss this Rant here on NBL, or on the Doomstead Diner, whichever you like 🙂

First folks, before dropping on this rant about my thoughts on Near Term Human Extinction, I would like to make a Disclaimer.

Most of the NBL regulars know that Haniel and myself helped Guy to fix some if not all of the problems that have plagued NBL on the internet communication level.  We have our own problems on the Diner also, and this is a “second job” (unpaid) or hobby for all of us.  Nobody is making any money from this stuff, not Guy, not Haniel and not me.  In fact it costs money to do all this techno-wizardry, though because we know what we are doing we can keep it pretty cheap.  You should note the Diner and NBL have no ads, no popups, none of that stuff.  We try to stay on top of it, but between the spammers and the techno-glitches you often face down with Open Source software, it is a never ending battle to keep these sites running and User Friendly.  We may not have succeeded yet to the satisfaction of everyone, but we are doing our best.  It ain’t easy to keep a website running smooth once you get the spammers hitting you en masse.  Haniel does know what he is doing, but his time is limited.  This is all done voluntary by all of us.

Second, despite the fact both Haniel and myself list as Admins here, we don’t have anything to do with the Editorial Content or selection of material that goes onto the NBL Blog.  This is solely at the discretion of Guy McPherson.  Like anybody else who wants to publish a Guest Essay (or Audio Rant or You Tube Vid, etc) on the NBL Blog, I submit it to Guy, he reviews it for appropriate content and then Publishes it if he sees fit to do so.  Generally he does with my stuff, in fact as of yet nothing I submitted to Guy I thought was appropriate for publication on NBL has he failed to publish, also invariably with no edits and no censorship.  We are similar in that we both like to hear all sides of an argument, and unless the stuff is purely stupid or hateful or otherwise completely inappropriate, it goes up for discussion.  NBL and the Diner are similar in this regard, besides the technical similarities that now exist because both run the same software on the same server with the same techno-geek running the back end, my good friend Haniel.  If you can do a better job than we are doing here, please feel free to volunteer your services to Guy.  We got our own headaches, so we will happily hand these off to you and migrate the site again to your server.

http://www.vhemt.org/button.gifI have been reading NBL a long time, but of course in a good bit more detail since we worked to fix up the site.  Some of Guy’s hypotheses I agree with, much I do not, but in general my arguments and my issues with what I perceive here on NBL to be the “message” are not with Guy and his theories, but with stuff I read in the commentary.  The rant which follows is my reaction to these ideas and the way they are expressed in the commentary here.  Guy himself doesn’t often drop in on Commentary like I do, so we don’t discuss these ideas directly with each other too often.  We did do a fairly lengthy couple of Podcasts a while back with him though when we first got together, and it is probably getting time to Update these with a new one.

It is all fodder for discussion.  Based on my experience to date, I doubt it will be received all that well on NBL by the Regulars,  but on an open forum, that is just how it goes, EVERYBODY KNOWS.

So BATTER UP!  I will drop in as usual to defend my POV.  Feel free to excoriate it.  I never quit.  Remember that. 🙂

 

Transcript Snipet:

Forget the fucking Ruskies and Ukrainians here for a moment, forget the Chinese choking on Smog, forget the University Students in Debt up to their eyeballs before they ever hold their first job and forget the Japanese chowing down on Glow-in-the-Dark Sushi. Let’s get SERIOUS about Doom here and talk about the BIG ONE, Near Term Human Extinction!

All the rest of the Doom Problems are Chump Change when the Big One of Extinction gets dropped into the conversation, it hardly matters much if Vlad the Impaler rolls his tanks over Ukraine or if Students owe their first born child to JP Morgan Chase, since inside 30 years they’re all going to be DEAD no matter what!…

If you want a copy of the full transcript, email me and I will send it to you.  I don’t publish full transcripts because Soundcloud gives me the best Stats, and I am a stats geek. 🙂  One of the reasons I am shifting over to Audio these days instead of Text Blogging.

RE
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McPherson’s 4 April 2014 television interview with Thom Hartmann, “Conversations with Great Minds” is embedded below (begins at the 30:00 mark)

____________

East-coast tour (detailed information to come, including exact locations and times; follow on Facebook here):

5 April 2014, Ithaca, New York

6 April 2014, Niagara Falls, New York

Monday, 7 April 2014, 7:00 p.m., McMartin House National Historic Site, 125 Gore Street Perth, Ontario, Canada. RSVP and follow on Facebook here.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014, 7:00 p.m. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Conversation With Paul Beckwith (to be live-streamed)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014, 6:00 p.m., Steelworker’s Hall, 66 Brady Street, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, “Climate Chaos” (Facebook announcement and invitation)

Thursday, 10 April 2014, 12:00 noon, Meeting Room 1, Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie Street, Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, “Responding to Climate Chaos” (Facebook announcement and invitation)

Saturday, 12 April 2014, 6:30 p.m., East Hall, 2 Lippitt Road, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, “Climate Chaos”

Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 8:00 p.m., Chinatown, New York, New York, sponsored by Deep Green Resistance, “Climate Chaos”

Thursday, 17 April 2014, 4:00 p.m. Curiouser on Hudson

20 April 2014, Potluck dinner with attendees of last May’s presentation at the Mt. Kisco Library

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.

Late October through early November 2014, European tour. Details forthcoming. Follow on Facebook here.

____________

Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power and by more than two dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 122

  • It would be nice IF it were a choice-to go or not to go.

  • It’s my understanding that the main difference between the extinction process we are now in, and those of the past, is that when the grid goes down over 400 nuclear reactors worldwide will release enough radioactivity to kill all larger, more complex life forms that lack of food due to temperature rise has not.

    Also, not even 50% of CO2 pollution has reached the altitude necessary to become an effective greenhouse gas. Half of all CO2 pollution was added in the past 30 years and as it rises to effective altitudes it will completely lock in the huge potential methane discharge that has just begun. I have read that methane has immediate effect as a greenhouse gas, not needing to rise to the upper atmosphere. Therefore, methane will immediately contribute to temperature increases to areas of the planet most likely to produce huge amounts of methane. This has happened at a temperature rise of .85C above base. Rapidly rising temperatures will reinforce the process of the feedback loops.

    I believe the biologists who say plant proteins will become denatured at +4C. DNA, RNA, growth hormones, delicate photosynthetic processes, etc. will be disrupted. We can’t live on grass, its been tried.

    Will some of us survive? That’s a favorite topic here. As for me, I sincerely hope NOT. But, maybe deep in a cave system somewhere a small group will be finding their way around using echo location via ‘click stones’ or grunts, seeking out tasty spiders and slime molds, waiting for mom, dad or the noisy neighbor to finally fade away so they can enjoy the occasional real sit-down dinner.

  • Paul Erlich would have won the bet if it was extended 30-years.

    Good show, I always learn something new: 40-year time lag and in the past 40 years we emitted more CO2 than since industrial revolution!

  • “You should note the Diner and NBL have no ads, no popups, none of that stuff.”

    As long as one ignores long running ads for underground tombs, fanciful domes, silo-housing and other joyless living arrangements along with constant plugs for the Diner, sure. Of course, there’s also the unending self-aggrandizing, the cowardly bullying, the incredible lack of understanding, the callous disregard to anyone who doesn’t think in lockstep or lives in “Big Shities” and with a world view so narrow to be boiled down to LAST MAN STANDING idiocy where the slightest deviation to adhered beliefs is denounced as “quitting” or “losing” or “failing” as if NTE is some great game with an ultimate winner to be given a gold medal while crowds cheer on the sidelines.

    Eat your bacon.

  • The PETM took 175,000 years. The dinosaurs died out 33,000 years after initial impact, the Permian extinction took 60,000 years. The catastrophic cascading extinction collapse tipping point is 30-40 years away, when it becomes unstoppable and irreversible. The catastrophic climate change tipping point is 13-20 years away when the process becomes unstoppable and irreversible. We are raising emissions faster than any other extinction event. We are on track to kill off 75% of life in no longer than 300 years, assuming we make it that far. This is the fastest and largest extinction event in history.

    The problem is not the extinction event, the problem is the pre-extinction event. The World Bank dude says we 5-10 years before we start fighting for food. Also, anybody who even hints that someone should off their self should off their self. That’s just good manners.

    ► In 2008, China’s banks were worth 10 Trillion Dollars.
    ► In 2013 China’s banks were worth 25 Trillion Dollars.
    ► In just 5 years they grew a magical 15 Trillion Dollars!
    ► The entire 15 Trillion Dollar U.S. Commercial Banking System took 100 years to get to that size.
    ► The entire 15 Trillion Dollar U.S. Annual Economy (GDP) took 100 years to get that big.
    ► The China Bubble is the BIGGEST and FASTEST financial bubble in all of recorded human history.
    ► All bubbles burst as they drive gas prices higher and price spikes poke pin pricks in the bubble.
    ► This collapse will happen around the super-critical 2015 Paris climate negotiations rendering them useless.

    Why Is This Important?
    ► 90% of Lions gone since 1993.
    ► 90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
    ► 50% of Fresh Water Fish gone since 1987.
    ► 30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
    ► 28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 50% of All Vertebrate Species gone by 2040.
    ► Extinctions are 1000 times faster than normal.
    ► Ocean acidification doubles by 2050.
    ► Ocean acidification triples by 2100.
    ► 90 elephants are killed every single day.
    ► 2-3 rhinos are killed every single day.
    Why Is This Important?

    MONEY = POWER = MONEY etc.
    Energy conservation or efficiency doesn’t really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerated energy consumption. Here is the future.
    ► 1/100th watt = $1 of global economic activity.
    ► 500 megawatts = 1 average power plant.
    ► 600 megawatts = China’s increased coal use every 10 days for the next 10 years.
    ► 500,000 megawatts = 500 planned new nuclear plants for China by 2050.
    ► 25 billion megawatts = World power output in 2014.
    ► Each Day, C02 per megawatt of power increases.
    ► Every 4½ days, 1,000,000 new carbon users are born.
    ► How many windmills, solar panels and batteries will give us just today’s 25 billion megawatts?

    Why is This Important?
    ► Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research (2009): +4°C by 2060.
    ► United Nations Environment Programme (2010) up to: +5°C by 2050.

    Why Is This Important?
    All the world wants 2 things, jobs and a liveable planet. We can’t actually have both without building a new nuclear plant every day to the end, according to Tim Garrett of Utah U, a guy who is seriously into economic thermodynamics.
    We are on track to wipe out three-quarters of life on earth in 300 years ― at most. While solar and wind power are useful, we cannot afford the ecological cost of running all our mega cities on just that type of power. Too many heavy and rare-earth metals, along with conflict minerals, would be required. The smog from the graphite mines alone, used to make the rechargeable batteries, would choke the planet. Even liquid metal batteries are too big and unsustainable.

  • @ Raquel Baranow

    Hi Raquel Baranow, some very interesting links you have there !

    ..40-year time lag and in the past 40 years we emitted more CO2 than since industrial revolution!

    Does anyone have the latest estimates, for the loss of Arctic ice and when it will be gone ?

    I believe that’s also equivalent to all the CO2 emitted since the start of the industrial revolution because of the albedo change.

  • ulvfugl: does this help?

    https://robertscribbler.com/2014/03/24/arctic-sea-ice-breaking-up-as-heat-anomaly-spikes-to-4-21-degrees-celsius-above-average/

    Arctic Sea Ice Breaking Up as Heat Anomaly Spikes to 4.21 Degrees Celsius Above Average

    [from post, a picture from March of this year]

    (East Siberian Sea ice on March 9 in the top frame and March 24 in the bottom frame. Image source: Lance-Modis.)

    Overall, the Arctic is now experiencing an extraordinarily high temperature anomaly of +4.21 above the 1979-2000 average or about 5.7 C above the 1880s average. These excessive above average temperatures are high enough to initiate early melt, fragility and break-up in some zones (as observed above).

    [ends with]

    GFS model runs show the current Arctic pulse spiking to around +5 C above 1979 to 2000 averages over the next 48 hours and then slowly fading through March 31 as anomalies return to a range of about +2-3 C above average. Hot zones continue to linger over China, Mongolia, Siberia and Eastern Europe as a somewhat troubling heat pulse develops over a large swath of western Greenland before riding up over Svalbard potentially bringing 30-40 degree (F) temperatures to both Western Greenland and this Arctic island by late in the forecast period.

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/03/piomas-march-2014.html

    There are also graphs here on sea-ice volume in comparison to 1979-2012 with current values shown (below them)

    [quote from article]

    During the month of February the gap between this year and the other years from the post-2010 period has grown smaller again. Last month I wrote:

    The difference with 2013, for instance, has gone down from 1859 km3 at the end of the year to 1205 km3 at the end of the January. 2013 started out very low, but crept up a lot towards the end of the freezing season, reflecting a late cold snap that considerably thickened the ice.

    This year is pretty much the opposite from last year, and so the difference has gone from +1859 km3 (end of December) to +1205 km3 (end of January) to -43 km3 (end of February). The difference with 2011, the year with the lowest volume max on record, is now +401 km3 instead of +1000 km3 last month. Difference with 2012, the year with the lowest volume min on record, is now +153 km3 instead of +506 km3.

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/03/piomas-march-2014.html

  • Yeah! Yeah! It’s going to be bad but I fail to see the PURPOSE of DoomPorn.
    Can someone explain to me what are the expected results of all this propaganda?
    If you’re toast you’re toast, aren’t you?
    And as an individual everyone is toast after a few dozen years,
    or… it this place to later become a “salvation cult” of sorts?

  • Bravo for a superb show RE and Guy. I never listened to your podcast RE, very excellent.
    Guy, your authenticity and authority is ever growing. But time is running out, there is no limit to authentic growth in true authority which amounts to zero authority. You remain my favorite for hitting the ball while we are at bat. I suggest fully removing the blindfold of patriarchal hubris. The sunlight will not melt your eyes no matter how much it hurts. I promise 😉 time for justce to see again. We are up to our waist in missed balls and can still swing yet. When we connect again any one of us, all current bets are off. But so far, no connect.

    Can anyone believe the stark difference between Thom Hartmann and Guy? Two men talking consequence and hopefull cleanup after man’s wrecking ball of hubris has taken us to the edge. One suffering honesty, the other denial. But none need to suffer anymore and that choice is a death, that rebirths all potential. Ready to die? Can you bear living again?

  • DoomPorn? Is that phrase supposed to make us feel smarmy or guilt tinged? Propaganda? Like science is propaganda? Well, I know, to some it is. “Salvation cult? Come on jld, get a life.

    I wish I knew how many times I’ve heard myself and others called ‘alarmists’ for pointing out the effects of climate change. These tactics don’t really bother me much any more, they are the trade of exploiters and warmongers and their parrot-like slaves. But, I do get the occasional urge to spit in someone’s face.

  • Dear Robert Callighan,

    You are blocking on the only real option humans have ever had for a life that lasts as long as the earth abides to sustain it. Jobs that are not by-products of industrialized patriarchal fear, suffering and death. Jobs are not held to that dying and toxic social model. For the planet to have any chance to remain liveable it must be freed from the grip of the industrial patriarchal toxic paradigm. Your mind is that paradigm. Can you change that? Yes? Will you? Will we? The two camps here of hopium and hopelessium are camps of suffering denial and honesty in the patriarch. I suggest we leave it ( the patriarchal paradigm) and start living. Even if we only live a few hours or days, months or years beyond the patriarch, do you know the value and potential beyond the patriarch versus suffering in the patriarch? The beginning and end in which there never was and never will be a place to feel sustained joy, freedom and dignity? That dark crossing awaits us all. Better to take it in life but no matter if you won’t, death will take it for you.

  • ulvfugl

    Arctic ice albedo loss = 25% of all C02 emissions for the last 30 years.

  • @jld

    REALITY CULT

  • The take back message from RE is that near-term extinction (even if probable) is not an inevitable result. As near-term human extinction is not a certainty it follows that one shouldn’t give up and must try to survive and leave a better future for our children. This I feel is the biggest message as what kind of example do we set if we say survival is impossible or that you are a scourge to this planet?

    People need a direction in life and until we are sure extinction will happen then it pays to fight for a better future. If the worst does indeed happens you can at least hold your head high and say you tried to make the world a better place. Taking the message in that context I don’t think it is so ridiculous.

  • I am still waiting for someone to demonstrate that the relative forcing factor for methane is NOT 200 to 300 times carbon dioxide.

    The official figure is based on an average of a decay curve. But the methane in the atmosphere is replaced as fast as it decays; Or faster.

    2ppm x 250 = 500ppm CO2e

    plus 400ppm actual CO2

    plus another 100ppm CO2e for other gases gives us 1000ppm CO2e.

    Who would like to demonstrate that such a figure does not result in runaway greenhouse?

  • monsta666 Says: “The take back message from RE is that near-term extinction (even if probable) is not an inevitable result.”

    Bob S. says: OFC RE MUST say near-term extinction (even if probable) is not an inevitable result or his trolling and spamming blogs for $100 donations from poor folk would look more ridiculous than it already does.

    monsta666 Says: “As near-term human extinction is not a certainty it follows that one shouldn’t give up and must try to survive and leave a better future for our children.”

    Bob S. says: I haven’t met anyone here at NBL that isn’t trying to survive. IMO, best way to leave a better future for our children is to stop frivolous consumption like the Diner’s Texas Kegger – or RE’s trip from Alaska to Mexico to get his teeth filled. And finally, I believe the best gift we can leave our children is to teach them to love their neighbor as themselves – and not fall into the “last man standing” trap that has delivered us to doom’s door.

    monsta666 Says: “This I feel is the biggest message as what kind of example do we set if we say survival is impossible or that you are a scourge to this planet?”

    Bob S. says: I haven’t met anyone here who tells their children that survival is impossible and they are the scourge to this planet. This nonsense is just another strawman from the scarecrow’s strawman factory over at the Diner. Folks here usually recommend telling the truth and thinking critically.

    monsta666 Says: “People need a direction in life and until we are sure extinction will happen then it pays to fight for a better future.”

    Bob S. says: Guess I should have stuffed my pockets with cash and jetted to the Kegger in Texas to “fight for a better future”.

    monsta666 Says: “If the worst does indeed happens you can at least hold your head high and say you tried to make the world a better place.”

    Bob S. says: Yeah, we’re pathetic losers who walk around looking down, hissing and spitting at the children.

    And in closing let me add, you Diner clowns should join the circus.

  • And the last time CO2 was @ 400 ppm it might(?) have taken several thousand methane generations to get to that point, where as now we have gone from 280 ish (?) to 400 in 130 od years. And as we are 30-40 years behind ourselves with regard to the affects of 400 ppm there is nothing to stop a massive methane explosion. When is the question I guess?

  • @ ulvfugl

    The two pre-eminent authorities on Arctic ice are still Wieslav Maslowski and Peter Wadhams. Maslowski is saying 2016 plus or minus three years and he’s been saying just that since 2006. He has a raft of caveats and disclaimers attached but this may be ascribed to the shit he had with his employer (ahem – US Navy) after his original forecast. As I read him he likes the minus side more than the plus side, and the plus side covers most every scenario that might cause a small delay. Wadhams says 2015 or 2016 plain and simple. Wadhams and Maslowski are the only two guys who’ve watched the ice from the underside where the real melt action happens. Rides on military submarines are not easy to come by.

    Now that the sun is up at the pole you can look for yourself via the Lance-Modis Arctic Mosaic. It’s visible light satellite photography, assembles a mosaic from multiple passes of the bird, then wipes it clean and starts over every few hours. My take, having watched these photos some years now, is that the ice looks like shit. There is no real ice pack, only floes that crack and drift far more freely than they ever did at this time of year. Even three years ago in March and April researchers could snowmobile to the pole. Look at the photos and you’ll see that’s quite impossible now. Weather plays a huge role in what happens through a melt season, predicting weather with any accuracy within a rapidly changing paradigm is just not possible. The volume of ice up there right now (PIOMAS measure) is well within what has in the past melted out in a single season. It really is anytime now. Whether it’s 5 months or 5 years is unknowable except by wait-and-see. Any who think it’s longer than that are looking for a deus ex machina.

  • jld Says: April 5th, 2014 at 10:27 am “… I fail to see the PURPOSE …”.
    Which or who’s purpose? Your purpose is what you make it. My purpose is what I make it. And they are different. There is no single ultimate all embracing shared purpose, there are as many as there are people.

  • I tried to posted this at 9A EST, and at 1P EST, and it hasn’t shown up from either try. It’s 8:32P EST so I’ll try again, just for kicks.

    It’s my understanding that the main difference between the extinction process we are now in, and those of the past, is that when the grid goes down over 400 nuclear reactors worldwide will release enough radioactivity to kill all larger, more complex life forms that lack of food due to temperature rise has not.

    Also, not even 50% of CO2 pollution has reached the altitude necessary to become an effective greenhouse gas. Half of all CO2 pollution was added in the past 30 years and as it rises to effective altitudes it will completely lock in the huge potential methane discharge that has just begun. I have read that methane has immediate effect as a greenhouse gas, not needing to rise to the upper atmosphere. Therefore, methane will immediately contribute to temperature increases to areas of the planet most likely to produce huge amounts of methane. This has happened at a temperature rise of .85C above base. Rapidly rising temperatures will reinforce the process of the feedback loops.

    I believe the biologists who say plant proteins will become denatured at +4C. DNA, RNA, growth hormones, delicate photosynthetic processes, etc. will be disrupted. We can’t live on grass, its been tried.

    Will some of us survive? That’s a favorite topic here. As for me, I sincerely hope NOT. But, maybe deep in a cave system somewhere a small group will be finding their way around using echo location via ‘click stones’ or grunts, seeking out tasty spiders and slime molds, waiting for mom, dad or the noisy neighbor to finally fade away so they can enjoy the occasional real sit-down dinner.

  • Who would like to demonstrate that such a figure does not result in runaway
    greenhouse?

    For the folks at ground zero, it matters little whether the nuke is in kilotons or megatons. Nor is it necessary to convince anyone that it is a nuke: it won’t matter. Instead of trying to convince the “To Go Extinct or Not Go Extinct, that is the Question?” crowd, a saner choice would be to follow Dr. McPherson’s prescription.

  • ►In 2008, China’s banks were worth 10 Trillion Dollars.
    ►In 2013 China’s banks were worth 25 Trillion Dollars.
    ►In just 5 years they grew a magical 15 Trillion Dollars!

    “Money” is a word for the symbolic representation of claims to resources, products and services. Debt is a claim to future money. The proliferation of money and debt (often expressed as money) does not necessarily match any change in the resources, products and services. And the latter is where the rubber meets the road – as long as fossil fuels flow. After that, no rubber, no road.

    A whole slew of recent AD HOMINEMS:

    The problem is that RE is too proud and vain, and you’re not helping.

    The heartlessness of these kind of statements is a bit much in the morning. I was wondering about the people in Washington who chose not to adapt to being crushed and suffocated. And some poor loser on the South side that didn’t adapt to having bullets entering his body. All those species deciding not to adapt to complete loss of habitat.

    “You should note the Diner and NBL have no ads, no popups, none of that stuff.”

    As long as one ignores long running ads for underground tombs, fanciful domes, silo-housing and other joyless living arrangements along with constant plugs for the Diner, sure.

    there’s also the unending self-aggrandizing, the cowardly bullying, the incredible lack of understanding, the callous disregard to anyone who doesn’t think in lockstep or lives in “Big Shities” and with a world view so narrow to be boiled down to LAST MAN STANDING idiocy where the slightest deviation to adhered beliefs is denounced as “quitting” or “losing” or “failing”

    It is so earnestly a wish that they were off the mark.
    It is social skills and intelligence that differentiates a psychopath from a sociopath. An Alexander the Great, an Attila the Hun, a Genghis Khan from a common street mugger.
    And there is an entire spectrum between the two.

  • This weeks news report on VICE, which can be seen on HBO, concerns Asia’s insatiable demand for Rhino horn, which although illegal has never been more popular as a new status symbol, particularly in Vietnam. At present rates of poaching, the African rhino will be extinct in less than 15 years.

    The newest technique being employed by poachers is to use a silent tranquilizer gun to immobilize the rhino. Then the poachers proceed to hack off the horn. Although the animal recovers from being sedated, she is in such a state of shock from having a body part butchered that she inevitably dies.

    Criminal gangs are giving up the high risk business of gun running and drugs to the equally lucrative trade in illegal wildlife since the penalties are simply laughable- and that assumes the poacher is caught, which is highly unlikely since governments assign very low priority status to the 10 billion dollar a year trade in illegal wildlife.

    This makes me so fucking angry. I would love to train and equip an anti-poaching team with a shoot to kill policy- no mercy.

  • Why do so many damn people view extinction always in terms of themselves or mankind? Why not work to prevent the extinction of the natural world first for if the ecosystem lives YOU will live. It odes not matter how deep your bunker is or how much food stuffs you have saved. What will you do for oxygen? What will you do once your accumulated stores are exhausted? Oh the insanity…….

  • ” And as we are 30-40 years behind ourselves with regard to the affects of 400 ppm there is nothing to stop a massive methane explosion. When is the question I guess?”

    And I haven’t heard a practical-sounding answer to that.

    “Why do so many damn people view extinction always in terms of themselves or mankind? Why not work to prevent the extinction of the natural world first for if the ecosystem lives YOU will live.”

    I’m unclear where to draw the line between people and other sentient beings. They seem resilient in different ways, but wouldn’t a destroyed biosphere wipe out both pretty much simultaneously? And the other way around? Wouldn’t enlightened self-interest by humans be the best way to help both? Enlightened self interest would r4equire thinking about nature differently. At least to the point of doing it no harm. While that would be a very tall order, it seems remotely possible, more so than preventing GHG escalation due to the 40 year lag and counting.

    Nuclear plant meltdown seems to lie in the same range as GHG escalation. There is a known physical *possibility* to manage the situation. I’m basing all this on information regularly shared on NBL.

  • If wanted to push the button, I would flip a coin to determine whether or not to push the button. I would say you should use your ethical system to determine whether or not to push the button, i.e., is there a good ethical reason to push the button. If the answer is “yes”, then flipping the coin is what I’d do.

    I didn’t hear the audio – no time, sorry. I prefer to read, I don’t like to hear or see videos since I find them a relatively inefficient way of obtaining information. I can read extremely rapidly.

  • What are the real answers? Can we decide here and now? Stop trying to sound so smart or smarter than the previous guy and offer some real solutions like: Let’s hold hands and chant. If there is a way, let’s get busy. Derrick Jensen was recently heard by me on a YouTube interview as having said something to the effect that not throwing away his old clothes has no value to saving us from certain doom. If everyone didn’t throw away their old clothes, but wore them to their death, wouldn’t that help? Of course, not having any clothes in the first place would be more useful. Are there any real answers? It seems that stone age is the only salvation. One in one out. Perhaps we will/could evolve, given enough time, to having fur bodies again. Perhaps we should all move to climate zones that don’t require clothes; but then we would need to kill off a few to fit? There are no answers if no one wants to hear. Seems our only hope is technology.

  • Correction:

    I meant to say that avoiding nuclear meltdown seems to be in the same category as avoiding total biosphere destruction (not GHG escalation, which is pretty much a given). I don’t see any proof (if even it were possible to find) one way or the other as to whether nuclear meltdown can/can’t be avoided.

  • @ Ulvfugl

    The most detailed computer model on sea ice decline is a U.S. Naval Graduate School model, and it shows the sea ice cover could be gone by late summer in 2016.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/dec/09/us-navy-arctic-sea-ice-2016-melt

  • @Kevin Moore: I agree. Using the decay curve is meaningless. It assumes that emissions stop. It’s a mind trick/lie. They haven’t and won’t. So how much methane is there in the present is what counts. That’s one reason why the Arctic is warming faster then elsewhere; the methane tends to hang around up there for a time. Beckwith says when the ice is gone, 2 more years, the weather will be 10 to 20 times worse!!

    I farm in NY state and last summer we had the worst hay crop harvest in 40 years (late cut) and this winter was the longest cold spell I have seen. The Great Lakes froze over. All this trouble was caused by a slower jet stream. We overcame these inconveniences and showed a profit only because the market reflects bad weather quickly. Demand for milk is inelastic; prices are up. I have no idea how I would handle weather that is 10 to 20 times worse. Keep in mind that hay crop is much easier to raise than corn or soy.

    By the way, cows never fart. They breathe out the methane.

  • @D: What’s this all about? A quote from the end of that article:

    Despite their latest study uncovering higher levels of methane than previously recognised, Shakhova has also distanced herself from the ‘methane bomb’ scenario she had once previously posited, noting a lack of direct evidence for the scenario.

  • @ Bob S: You say that many of the things I said in my post such as near-term human extinction has not been stated in this blog yet quite often if someone does attempt to say otherwise they get ridiculed for not looking at the facts correctly or worse being delusional.

    While in practice people do want to survive in the NBL quite often the message is made that humans are a menace to the world. If you look at enough posts in the Nature Bats Last I am sure you will find some that subscribe to this idea. Also these messages are conveyed on a frequent enough basis that you can say they are not fringe/extreme positions taken on this blog thus it is not a strawman argument to make allegations against this position.

    As for your other words about direction and looking down on children, you are just putting words in my mouth. Just because I say people need a direction in their life it does mean I advocate for people to maintain their consumptive lifestyle. There are many ways of living and to make a new lifestyle viable it needs to have an overall ethos that people can focus on. If, for sake of argument, you were to say life is meaningless then people will have difficulty following that because people need meaning and a purpose to their life.

    If you look throughout history each society had some meaning either it was the meme of progress/consumption as seen today or it was religion in the past. It is a recurring theme that people placed heavy value in behaving a certain way. The key is to make this purpose something meaningful and constructive not the destructive in the way of thinking. When things get bad there is a chance instead of preserving what we have left of the planet people will engage in destructive behaviours of blaming and then fighting each other. It is important we try to avoid those negative outcomes.

    As for the comment about spitting on children, I did not say that and never implied that is what people do here. I just said my statement on children because I feel a stronger emphasis must be placed in putting a message that is more palatable to the younger generation for they are the ones that will inherit this damaged planet and will be the ones who will have to deal with the consequences. If we do not offer a good message they will reject our message then it is quite likely they will add to the problem rather than solve it. Also as a final point a palatable message does not necessarily have to be something that promotes business as usual. It just needs something that offers some hope because that is what most people need. Hope.

  • I mentioned last night to some family members that temperatures could rise by 4C in fifteen years and perhaps by 10C in thirty years. That’s all I said. There was no reaction at all, no fear, no denial, no concern, and one member is an MIT graduate. There’s just no way for most people to imagine exponentially changing climate conditions unless perhaps you’re from Australia and you get hit on the head with a well-done bat. Perhaps grandma will be next when the AC malfunctions except that she will simply slump to the floor as the proteins in her body become the precursor casualties. In any case, it seems obvious, but of course the subject of ongoing study, that warming oceans are melting ice from the edges and bottom upwards and the heat capacity of water is tremendous. Not only does Antarctica and the Arctic chill the warming atmosphere, but the ocean’s average temperature is 39F, so this too has great potential to absorb heat. But how fast can it absorb the heat and will that leave us with a deoxygenated hydrogen sulfide soup? How much heat can be moved into the deep oceans? I think the clathrate gun is most disturbing as it could “flash” fry us in short order as these warming oceans release the sequestered methane. Instead of ICBM detection, perhaps we need methane plume detection with accessory ignition lasers. Maybe the IMF can fund the methane knock-out while still funding infrastructure development in the developing world to help U.S. energy companies find more fossil fuels to burn. It’s a mad, mad world.

  • Artleads: it may have been possible to “not harm” nature and support a humanity waaaaaay back when our numbers were small and kept that way. You see how our biology and “wiring” has lead us to where we are now and it’s (far) too late to change. We’ll eat everything possible apparently before we go (I have my doubts we’ll last that long, but if so this would be the case, unfortunately – ie. we can’t exist on only sunlight, water and air). I once thought humanity was capable of more, but our “intellect” got in the way and our base desires abused whatever may have been deemed “good” or “worthwhile” (like math, language and science) for “growth,” and greed and MORE. No, humans are flawed and doomed like any other creatures, sentient or not (despite Mobus’ argument) to overpopulate and outstrip its resource base. “Enlightened” beings like Buddha, Christ and others have tried to show us the way, but we don’t listen (maybe “can’t” listen). I wish that evolution took us to the next level (whatever that would have been) before we destroyed our environment and killed ourselves off.

  • http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/volcanic-eruptions.html

    Sunday, 6 April 2014

    Volcanic eruptions

    Seven Volcanoes In Six Different Countries All Start Erupting Within Hours Of Each Other

    Seven Volcanoes In Six Different Countries All Start Erupting Within Hours Of Each Other. A new island has appeared in the Pacific. A submarine eruption just off Nishino-Shima Island Japan has erupted for the first time in 40 years. The Japanese Navy noticed the explosions as boiling lava met sea water giving rise to plumes of steam and ash.

    Almost 7,000 miles away in Mexico, the Colima volcano blew its top after a period of relative calm. A steam and ash cloud rose two miles into the sky and the grumbling of the mountain could be heard in towns a few miles away.

    In Guatemala the ‘Fire Mountain’ belched out lava and sent up a moderate ash cloud causing an ash fall over nearby towns. The explosions and shock waves occurring in the volcano can be felt by residents over 6 miles away. Doors and windows are reported to be rattling, but there has been no damage so far.

    In Vanuatu the Yasur volcano is giving some cause for concern. Although the explosions are quite weak the continuous ash that is coming from the mountain is starting to build up on farming land.

    Over to Italy, Mount Etna is putting on quite a display. The current eruption started a few days ago and has been getting stronger as time moves on. A massive eruption lit up the sky and disturbed residents yesterday. The ash cloud was high enough to see flights canceled. The lava flow was the biggest in years, and the town of Zafferana which lay in its path saw some damage. Lava diverters were put into place, and most of the town escaped unscathed.

    In Indonesia a four mile high ash cloud is making life hard for residents. Mount Sinabung came back to life in 2010 after dormancy of hundreds of years. Occasionally coming to life after its 2010 awakening, the rumbling of the volcano prompted the evacuation of over 6000 people as scientists feared a major eruption. There has been no lava flows so far but the ash cloud is growing.

    Still in Indonesia but on the island of Java this time, Mount Merapi exploded yesterday. Hundreds of people were killed when it last erupted in 2010. There is no news of casualties at this point.

    So, we have eruptions big enough to prompt evacuations. Flights are canceled, and a new island pops up off the coast of Japan. I would have called that newsworthy myself but obviously I’m wrong. If I was right it would have been common knowledge right? Reports may have been on the news right?

    So many volcanoes throwing so much gas, ash and particulates into the air can have an effect on climate, this is a scientific fact. I’m not saying that these volcanoes herald the start of a new ice age but the planet certainly seems to be getting a bit more active of late.

    Continued large eruptions put a huge amount of particulate matter into the atmosphere, and these particles reflect sunlight away from earth and when there is enough of them the temperatures can drop.

    The Mount Pinatubo eruption lowered temperatures by around 0.5°C across the Northern Hemisphere. Considering that we are in a cooling period anyway, having so many volcanoes going off at the same time is not good. Aside from the devastating effects the lava and ash can have on the lives of those living near to them, the global impacts can be enormous.

    Lost crops due to ash fall and lower temperatures can lead to hunger and famine, as happened after the Tambora eruption in 1815.

    Economic losses due to lost crops and canceled flights runs into millions of dollars a day, as with the Icelandic eruption of Eyjafjallojkull (pronounced: aya fiat la u cud la) in 2010.

    The spasms of the earth come without warning, but at the same time those spasms should be a wake up call to all of us that change can happen in the blink of an eye. Better be prepared for it.

    [How?]

  • Robin Datta,

    My remark that RE is proud and quite possibly vain with it, whether I am correct or not, is not an ad hominem. There is no matter at hand that must be decided intelligently, honestly and rationally that I have defaulted on by resorting to an ad hom.

    It is quite in order to notice someone’s behaviour and take a guess at what personal characteristics lie behind it. I’m guessing that behind your rarefied passive-aggressiveness is a thwarted desire to strangle your neighbours with a length of piano wire.

  • “I didn’t hear the audio – no time, sorry. I prefer to read, I don’t like to hear or see videos since I find them a relatively inefficient way of obtaining information. I can read extremely rapidly.”

    Can you read while you are riding your bicycle? It’s not video, it is audio only.

    It’s a time saver because you can multi-task. 🙂

    Anyhow, I talk fast. The whole thing runs 6:48, I doubt even speed reading you could get through it in less than 3 minutes. So even if not multitasking, max wasted time is about 3:30.

    RE

  • Comment by one Eric at The Spiral Staircase:

    “In our culture we seem to be stuck with either smarmy phony bullshit or belligerence. Communication overall seems to descend ever more rapidly into crude and vicious tweets across all social classes and media, but there are still plenty of intelligent articulate people around; they absorb cultural norms and act them out in different guises but the agenda is often the same: power, humiliation, status over others, shutting down discussion with threats. The traditional conversational skills, like honesty, humor, humility, have even become so twisted and distorted that they are often just more weapons used to attack and degrade. ”

    You can read the rest here.

  • Artleads says, ‘ I don’t see any proof (if even it were possible to find) one way or the other as to whether nuclear meltdown can/can’t be avoided.’

    This is an EXACT example of the ever present doubt-casting and inane questioning of fact seen in main stream media all the time. Highly effective at staving off real action and the spread of general knowledge, it is the most powerful tool used by elites to postpone climate action. It’s just sad as shit that hoards of individuals leap to reinforce such doubt in spite of not knowing their ass from a hole in the ground!

    What part of, the fuel rods in a reactor must be cooled by a constant flow of water replacement, is so hard to understand? What part of, when power from the grid or emergency generators is terminated the water will no longer be pumped to the cooling tanks, is so hard to understand? What part of, when the water stops flowing, the nuclear fuel rods will overheat, is so hard to understand? What part of, the overheated fuel will boil away all the water, is so hard to understand? And so on! The fuel will continue to overheat, leading to an uncontainable scenario multiplied over 400 times.

    Here’s where you, Artleads, here’s your opportunity to pipe up and say that nuclear radiation really isn’t that toxic to life forms. Why not jump on that bandwagon for awhile? It’s exactly what most people want to hear and, what the heck, you’ll sound really smart to lots of them!

    But I have to say that Guy in his last interview, right here on this thread (see above, just click on the little arrow), repeated for the umpteenth time that when the power goes down the nukes will go critical. Artleads, did you LISTEN to the interview? Have you EVER listened to an interview? It’s like you have to be nursed through every step of this, banging your rattle against the bars of your crib and yelling NO, NO, NO!

  • Sorry for not being around much to spar on the thread here.  The Diner Convocation is ongoing down in TX, so my usual web time is quite limited.

    However, carry on.

    RE

  • Hi Tom,

    I’m low down on the consumption chain. If I can be that, anybody else can be that too. It depends on how they are led (IMO).

    As to nukes, the miracle hiding in plain sight is that creation has not so far been incinerated, when mad people have been a finger push from effecting that. Maybe they’re not entirely mad. Maybe we’re lucky beyond comprehension.

    There’s the saying (something to the effect) that when in doubt don’t. So my instinct, commensurate with how nuclear annihilation (global death at any instant) has been kept at bay for some 65 years, is to stop everything that can be stopped dead in its tracks. The trouble is that this “stopping” requires limitless, coordinated global effort, taking in mind irreversible feedback loops! Whatever swear words you can think of could be inserted here.

  • @ Diarymandave

    Agreed, that was rather strange, I wasn’t aware she had either, nor can I find anything other than the following to suggest she has. But then again, the wording in the guardian article can be a little misleading. She isn’t the one who ever “posited the methane bomb scenario”. It’s just that her research has only recently fortified the hypothesis. And given the grave implications she might be uncomfortable with the correlations others are making. She has always been very reticent is making predictions.

    “Methane gas that has been trapped by ice, now escaping. Shakhova et al (2013) figure that flaws in the permafrost called taliks, resulting from geologic faults or long-running rivers, might allow gas to escape through what would otherwise be impermeable ice. If there were a gas pocket of 50 Gt, it could conceivably escape quickly as a seal breached, but given that global gas reserves come to ~250 Gt, a 50 Gt gas bubble near the surface would be very large and obvious. There could be 50 Gt of small, disseminated bubbles distributed throughout the sediment column of the ESAS, but in that case I’m not sure where the short time scale for getting the gas to move comes from. I would think the gas would dribble out over the millennia as the permafrost melts.”

    “Shakhova et al (2013) did not find or claim to have found a 50 Gt C reservoir of methane ready to erupt in a few years. That claim, which is the basis of the Whiteman et al (2013) $60 trillion Arctic methane bomb paper, remains as unsubstantiated as ever. The Siberian Arctic, and the Americans, each emit a few percent of global emissions. Significant, but not bombs, more like large firecrackers.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/arctic-and-american-methane-in-co

    “Shakhova didn’t want to dwell on predictions or possible outcomes from such rising temperatures. What she wanted to see, she said, was more primary research in the Arctic itself to determine what is happening”.

    http://juneauempire.com/state/2013-12-01/researchers-say-arctic-ocean-leaking-methane

  • @D

    Yes, predicting is hazardous as others are learning but on the other hand, the laws of physics are non negotiable. At least this topic is more predictable than finance, economics, and politics, all of which are human games with no laws at all.

  • D: Well, it hardly matters whether a large methane injection into the atmosphere happens over a week sometime this spring or for the rest of the year at ever-increasing rates – it’s continuing to increase nonetheless! In fact it IS possible to have a large amount of methane “burp” at once from the Arctic – it may be unlikely, but it’s definitely possible. Like Fukushima, it can’t be turned off and we are certainly no longer in control. Beside that, it isn’t just the Arctic methane we have to worry about now – it’s the melting tundra, warming permafrost, peat bogs, and decomposing boreal forests also adding methane (and don’t forget the contributions coming from industrial civilization – esp. fracking). It all adds up.

    i won’t even consider the other problems here to stay on subject.

  • @ Tom

    Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t agree with you more. I was only specifically responding to the question DMD asked, regarding recent commentary by Shakova which caught us both by surprise. And given the IARC has played a significant role in formulating our opinions as to the rate of Arctic change, I thought such comments needed a little clarification IMO.

  • This doomsteaddiner guy is pretty freaked about one “Guy” speaking about NTHE Why ? One “Guy ” maybe just sounds to plausible ?? !! .

  • RE

    First, no complains about NBL site.
    And thanks for the effort.
    Your action is what we need today, to help others without expecting something in return (to be honest, we always get something in return, and that is the clue about helping each other).

    I agree with your simplicity. Many things may happen in the next 20-40 years. We cannot be sure about NTE, or NTHE, or that the sixth ELE will wipe out life on earth.
    But, we can be sure that big environmental changes will be seen. And that life “as usual” will never be “as usual” anymore. If we add to that, our stupidity as society, we can also expect big changes in our society. Our current human system has passed its peak, we can only go down now.
    There is no need for buttons. All systems look for equilibrium. We just have to wait.

    Playing to be “the last man standing” is Ok to me. That is Nature 101. And things will not be like it sounds. You will not be alone, because being as smart as you are, you know that need others, and others will have the same need from others, that will in the end produce some kind of community.

    My question of always is, what comes after, surviving the crisis (if so)?. IC again?, or the same cultural structure around ourselves?. I cannot imagine you not being the leader of the surviving community. The lack of long term purpose of our culture will become a threat.
    I see that you are at most going as far as surviving, the happy ending of the movie.
    But no ideas of that new society. To me, that is even a bigger challenge than surviving.

    Surviving myself is not the issue to me (I will do my best anyway). The basis (at least the concepts) for a new society is what worries me today.
    I suspect that in my country, there are better chances of surviving than almost any place on earth, so I guess, there are real chances for some people to survive. Then, what comes after is something to be explored.

  • ►In 2008, China’s banks were worth 10 Trillion Dollars.
    ►In 2013 China’s banks were worth 25 Trillion Dollars.
    ►In just 5 years they grew a magical 15 Trillion Dollars!

    “Money” is a word for the symbolic representation of claims to resources, products and services. Debt is a claim to future money. The proliferation of money and debt (often expressed as money) does not necessarily match any change in the resources, products and services. And the latter is where the rubber meets the road – as long as fossil fuels flow. After that, no rubber, no road.

    A whole slew of recent AD HOMINEMS:

    The problem is that RE is too proud and vain, and you’re not helping.

    The heartlessness of these kind of statements is a bit much in the morning. I was wondering about the people in Washington who chose not to adapt to being crushed and suffocated. And some poor loser on the South side that didn’t adapt to having bullets entering his body. All those species deciding not to adapt to complete loss of habitat.

    “You should note the Diner and NBL have no ads, no popups, none of that stuff.”

    As long as one ignores long running ads for underground tombs, fanciful domes, silo-housing and other joyless living arrangements along with constant plugs for the Diner, sure.

    there’s also the unending self-aggrandizing, the cowardly bullying, the incredible lack of understanding, the callous disregard to anyone who doesn’t think in lockstep or lives in “Big Shities” and with a world view so narrow to be boiled down to LAST MAN STANDING idiocy where the slightest deviation to adhered beliefs is denounced as “quitting” or “losing” or “failing”

    It is so earnestly a wish that they were off the mark.
    It is social skills and intelligence that differentiates a psychopath from a sociopath. An Alexander the Great, an Attila the Hun, a Genghis Khan from a common street mugger.
    And there is an entire spectrum between the two.

    Bob S.: Your take on monsta666 was quite appropriate. When things get bad there is a chance instead of preserving what we have left of the planet people will engage in destructive behaviours of blaming and then fighting each other. It is important we try to avoid those negative outcomes.

    Negative outcomes are not at a remove from Last Person Standing.

    Also as a final point a palatable message does not necessarily have to be something that promotes business as usual. It just needs something that offers some hope because that is what most people need. Hope.

    These folks have yet to hear about the invincibility of hopelessness. When acting in accordance with anticipations but without expectations, one is beyond both elation and despair, as the ocean depths are calm in surface storms. Hopelessness does not mean despair.

  • https://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2744

    Soil contains more carbon than atmosphere and plants combined.

  • “Money” is a word for the symbolic representation of claims to resources, products and services. Debt is a claim to future money. The proliferation of money and debt (often expressed as money) does not necessarily match any change in the resources, products and services. And the latter is where the rubber meets the road – as long as fossil fuels flow. After that, no rubber, no road.

    It is social skills and intelligence that differentiates a psychopath from a sociopath. An Alexander the Great, an Attila the Hun, a Genghis Khan from a common street mugger.
    And there is an entire spectrum between the two.

    Bob S.: Your take on monsta666 was quite appropriate and well stated.

    Also as a final point a palatable message does not necessarily have to be something that promotes business as usual. It just needs something that offers some hope because that is what most people need. Hope.

    These folks have yet to hear about the invincibility of hopelessness. When acting in accordance with anticipations but without expectations, one is beyond both elation and despair, as the ocean depths are calm in surface storms. Hopelessness does not mean despair.

  • Doomstead Diner says that even a global rise of 8C does not cause complete population wipe-out because the polar regions would become quite balmy and livable.

    Can anyone address this? Pro or con?

  • @Kelly. Not being a climate scientist, my guess on what polar conditions will be like at +8C globally is probably as good as the fine folks at the Diner. For us non-scientists it’s pure speculation with variables such as some high school and college science mixed with an unconscious hold onto wishful thinking stirred by a more or less responsible effort to seriously read and study the issues of climate change and NTE by ourselves in an objective manner.

    Who knows, maybe the people way up the Alaska way will be able to outlive the rest of us for awhile. If I lived up there I would probably hope for that. Carrots burrowing 6 feet into warm peat. Beans, a foot long basking in the warm winter sunshine. Pots of sauce that grow spaghetti trees a hundred feet tall. Sarah Palin whipping by on a jet ski yelling, ‘The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!!’

    On the other hand, there’s a card up a sleeve. Between bone and cuff, death plays a game called destruction. At +8 globally, methane is roaring out of the depths of the underworld quickly establishing a mile thick umbrella over the arctic regions. A greenhouse gas at ground levels, this mile thick layer of methane is in concentrations many times higher than those ever recorded in ice cores. Bent to the contour of the planet, the gargantuan mantel acts as a lens focusing heat over vast areas. It’s deadly offspring, tight bright spots of intense focus are chasing people as they scurry about, like a child frying helpless ants with a magnifying glass. Sarah Palin, rictus grin and eyeless sockets staring into the all defining end of all, abandoned water skis at her side.

  • Thanks, Martin: much appreciated.

  • “Doomstead Diner says that even a global rise of 8C does not cause complete population wipe-out because the polar regions would become quite balmy and livable.”

    You still have to take into account the poor soil quality, the lack of sunshine during the winter months, the abundance of sunshine during the summer months and dead acidic seas. People have yet to develop the ability to survive without food. A terrible flaw to be sure. But if you ignore the need for food, the possible living arrangements open wide up. There’s no reason people couldn’t live on mountain tops, for example.

  • @Kelly: in two words, No Plants.

    This is all happening too rapidly for plants to evolve or move. No Plants doesn’t just mean no food, but also no oxygen. Oceanic phytoplankton are estimated to provide 50-85% of atmospheric oxygen, and their numbers are 40% of (or down 40% from) what they were reckoned to be a few decades ago.

    Though the venue is oddball, and the production quality scarse, you should listen to Gail Zawacki’s interview about ozone affecting plants world wide, here: http://media.podcastingmanager.com/64024-83474/Media/unabridge040414.mp3

    Warming is really the least of it on the plant score; even if plants could migrate, altered atmospheric composition along with anomalous whip-sawing of temps will effectively do in most, if not all, plant life. They can take an 80-degree day or a -20-degree day, but not bouncing back and forth that way every few days or weeks. They can’t take big changes in pH or in the composition of the air.

    Add to that the fact that many of us have made the observation that insect populations are now vastly reduced (and will continue to decline for similar reasons: not so much temperature shifts I don’t think, as air pollution and other man-made chemical assaults). They do the work of pollinating but also of helping to break down plant matter to make it available to new growing plants, along with microbe populations (I don’t know whether anyone is keeping track of soil microbe populations overall).

    The only thing more horrifying than knowing we are doing this to ourselves as well as the planet, is the realization that “we” have really known for a very long while that this is how it would turn out.


    The heroic story RE has in mind for himself doesn’t take these natural vulnerabilities and subtleties into account. I have a mental image of him stomping on a dead corn plant, yelling “Quitter!”

    I doubt he really understands, either, the full gamma of supply chain issues and embodied pollution his cement-dome “solution” represents. How his tribe is gonna move their see-ment domes from Texas to the North Pole is a further unanswered question. The very fact that any of them would consider Texas to be a viable landscape in the near term is a sign, to me, of poor mental hygiene.

  • Robert Atack Says:
    April 5th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    “And the last time CO2 was @ 400 ppm it might(?) have taken several thousand methane generations to get to that point, where as now we have gone from 280 ish (?) to 400 in 130 od years. And as we are 30-40 years behind ourselves with regard to the affects of 400 ppm there is nothing to stop a massive methane explosion. When is the question I guess?”

    I’ve been wondering for quite some time what would/will happen once the methane train really gets rolling and there are larger and larger concentrations or swaths of it, and a lightening storm rolls through the area. Wouldn’t that make for some genuine fireworks?

  • Kelly,
    If you haven’t read it,’Six degrees’by Mark Lynas is a well researched book detailing the effects of each degree of temperature increase.Also,’Under a green sky’by Peter Ward is illuminating.This is the second time I have typed this.The first time,the captcha code was clearly legible,I typed it in but it wouldn’t accept it If the idea of the captha code is to discourage people from posting comments,I would say it is doing a fine job.

  • (@david. It’s always a good idea to make a copy of your typed material before attempting to submit! My submissions only work on the first try in one out of four or five successful posts. Every try is different. Often I get kicked off NBL completely when I hit submit. Sometimes I have to wait as long as twelve hours for a post to show up. But don’t give up! And thanks for the books you listed.)

  • Rejoice in Gene Gene THE Dancing Machine:

  • “When acting in accordance with anticipations but without expectations, one is beyond both elation and despair, as the ocean depths are calm in surface storms. Hopelessness does not mean despair.”

    “This is all happening too rapidly for plants to evolve or move. No Plants doesn’t just mean no food, but also no oxygen. Oceanic phytoplankton are estimated to provide 50-85% of atmospheric oxygen, and their numbers are 40% of (or down 40% from) what they were reckoned to be a few decades ago.”

    The first quote leads in to the second. First of all, resistance does not mean hope. But if you’re going to resist, you can only do so with a single mind. You can’t resist by being convinced of the uselessness of resistance. That is the opposite side of the coin from hopefulness. It is pretty much the same thing.

    Resistance means that you have neither expectation nor concern for success/failure; you act in accordance with “anticipation.” Nothing more.

    Obviously, if we sit around in a state of “anti-hopefulness,” (the twin of hopefulness) that is a guarantee of failure. Jumping ahead in time to when plants don’t grow is not exactly living in the now, IMO. Plants can grow, with increased difficulty albeit, at the present time.

    I posted a link above as to how scientists say soil sequesters more carbon than everything else combined. Anticipation without hope would suggest that returning carbon to the soil, as the article recommends, would help negate the conditions where plants will indeed be gone. There would be no guarantee or expectation of success, but the purely mental exercise of jumping ahead in expectation of failure is merely to guarantee it.

    My apologies for the third post.

  • Natural Selection Accelerates NTE

    The Facts About Population: Don’t Panic
    http://www.gapminder.org/

    The statistician, Hans Rosling, has been giving talks since 2006 with fancy graphics comparing conventional wisdom to public population data.

    His point is that over the last four decades, in spite of war, economic recession/depressions, and HIV, world populations have adapted, live better and longer lives, with smaller (2.5 children) families; and a literacy rate of over 80% on top of that.

    Rosling continues to say that since the year 2000 there have been a constant yearly birth rate of two billion. Thus it predicted that the earth’s population will stabilized ~12 billion and we will live happily ever after. BTW, the additional population will be in Africa (from 1 to 4 billion) and Asia (from 2 to 4 billion).

    Aside from not appreciating the doubling interval of an exponential function, Rosling wrongly assumes in the distant future there will be plenty of energy for agriculture and infrastructure not to mention transportation to support 12 billion people, but that is another story all together.

    Nature selects for optimism, cooperation, compassion, sharing, teamwork, altruism, population growth, etc. *until it cannot.* We have seen habitat abuse and extinction over and over from the natives of Easter Island to Incas of Central America to bacteria in a Petri dish. Over 99% of all organisms that have lived on earth are now extinct. Extinction is a natural process. Get over it. Suck it up. Pull up your big-boy pants. And stop all of this whining.

  • Hi Monsta666 – First let me say I appreciate your restraint to my snarky comment. Since RE has arrived, seems all I can muster is sultan of snark in response to his delusional megalomania.

    That said, know that my bad attitude towards Diners isn’t happening in a vacuum. I read the threads at the Diner and know that most Diners view the regulars here at NBL with distain. I read the threads when you guys discuss invading websites to troll for fresh meat for the stillborn SUN project.

    I read the posts where folks boast about disrupting NBL to get readers to switch to the Diner. I read the insults and threats and get the distinct feeling Diners view others as predators view prey. Like sociopaths who don’t mind hurting others as long as they get what they want.

    I was here 6 months before the “migration”. I read hundreds of posts and only saw 2 spam posts. Yet when Haniel installed the captcha, he claimed that just in the time it took him to set it up, 90% of posts were spammers trying to register. So, 2 spam posts in 6 months with no captcha – but overnight, spammers decide to invade and challenge the captcha and register??? [OFC, maybe Haniel disabled a spam filter to do his installation and my suspicions are misplaced].

    I quickly noticed that neither Haniel or RE are “tech wizzards” when it comes to website administration – hell the blogs main link to classifieds has been hidden [green txt on green background] since the migration. OFC classifieds is where we would find the SUN competition. But no need for RE to place his SUN offer where everyone else places their offers and leave it at that – But no RE is special – he can shit on anybody he feels like and call it gonzo journalism. lol.

    monsta666 says: “While in practice people do want to survive in the NBL quite often the message is made that humans are a menace to the world.”

    Bob S. says: Humans are worse than a menace. They’ve destroyed the biosphere and they help drive 200 species to extinction every day. They can kill a million innocents and then announce “mission accomplished”. Menace, hell, we’re genocidal maniacs.

    monsta666 says: “It just needs something that offers some hope because that is what most people need.”

    Bob S. says: That about sums up the Diner hubris. You guys know what everyone needs and by god you’re hell bent on delivering it whether they want it or not. Kinda like USA did in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and about 150 other countries. We “know” what they need and by god they’re gonna get it ’cause we love ’em all.

    I see the Kegger in Texas is already a clusterfuck of disagreement and bad feelings – not to mention lots of alcohol to fuel the celebration of stupidity.

    Why don’t Eddie and Haniel sell their McMansions, cash in their IRAs and you all would have enough for two SUN start-ups. Get some skin in the game instead of just hot air?

  • “the purely mental exercise of jumping ahead in expectation of failure is merely to guarantee it.”

    WTF?!?

    So if I can envision [insert bad outcome here] that means I guarantee it? I’ve heard of blaming the victim, but this takes the cake.

    We are in clapping-our-hands-for-Tinkerbell territory with you, Artleads.

  • Regarding the point about Shakova distancing herself, if you watch the interview with her from a while back (I believe it is linked from Guy’s feedbacks list), she is more in favour of sounding some kind of an alarm than Igor (her husband I believe) who prefers just the science be conveyed. I think Igor’s POV is right but the bomb in question I think is the abrupt release of 50 Gt of CH4 at any one time. There’s been no evidence in favour of that and initially when it was proposed, it was a mathematical calculation.

    There’s still a bit of a debate about whether this some of this is due to destabilising hydrates or thawing permafrost or both.

    This kind of research is now receiving a lot of scrutiny, far more than what scientists are normally used to. And the industry is seizing upon every mistake being made as though it was the end of the world (in fact, we seem to live in a culture where everyone smells except themselves). So I think it pays to be cautious.

  • @ Ram

    I think you have that exactly the wrong way around.

    Imo, people who are complacent about the methane from the ESAS are fools who have not looked into the issues.

    It’s obvious that that methane is going to come out sooner or later, and there is a hell of a lot of it. Igor’s comment is that it could be anytime. As he and his wife are the world experts on that area and that subject, I suggest here views carry some weight.

  • Ulvfugl, my mistake. I went back to the interview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx1Jxk6kjbQ) and listened to it again and I believe you’re completely correct. I didn’t hear what Igor is saying in the background (he’s off-camera when this occurs at the 5:28 mark), but what Natalia says is something like: “Igor is a very convinced person…” and for some reason I remembered it has her saying he is advocating caution, but now that I hear it turned up, it’s very clear he’s saying “it could happen anytime” and she’s the one being somewhat cautious by responding with “it might…” (which is what I remembered and why I pointed people to this interview). And also she says at the end that they don’t like what they see at all. I agree they’re among the world’s experts on this and we should listen to them, etc.

    Also, about paying to be cautious, I was speaking in terms of scientific/academic/professional circles. Science as an institution (not the field) is an extremely conservative and cautious one. Funding for science is done extremely conservatively. Academia selects for highly conservative and cautious people IMO.

    I personally wouldn’t advocate being cautious and I’m all for risk-taking but I’m just saying how it is in academia and the institution of science.

    Finally, as I have written here myself, I think the whole AGW canary in the coal mine scenario is the Arctic ice and methane release one (gradually or abruptly it doesn’t matter since as you say, there’s a lot it). Once the Arctic goes ice free in the summer (it already effectively has) then we’re at the point of no return. Blowing past this point will be the Arctic being completely ice free all the time.

  • And when the Arctic is ice free, the weather gets 10 to 20 times worse according to Beckwith. Not exactly a “cautious” statement. Anxious to hear this conversation coming up.

  • Ram Samudrala,

    Where ever did you get the idea that the Arctic will be ice free in winter? Please enlighten me. The axial tilt of the Earth is 23.4°, and there is no indication that a change is expected.

  • Paul Beckwith seems to have discovered another positive (self-reinforcing) feedback:

  • Beckwith has “discovered” number 18 on my long list (included here)

  • “. I read the threads when you guys discuss invading websites to troll for fresh meat for the stillborn SUN project.”

    Typical snarky NBL comment. The SUN Project is far from stillborn. It is an idea and a dream that is very much alive, and the whole project is less than a year old. It has only been six months since we applied for non-profit status. These things take time.

    Yes, I often speak disparagingly about some of the posters here, because I think certain people here have their attitudes “fixed and dilated”, like the pupils of a corpse. Everyone buys into some narrative that they believe is supported by facts. When we disagree, and talk about it, that’s called a discussion. Many here have their minds made up, and brook no disagreement. Sorry, but it’s not the least bit productive, imho.

    Much of what is said here about those of us who hang out on the Diner is just flat wrong. You really don’t know us. We however do know each other, because we are building a real community. A sustainable community based on the principles that many of you seem to pay lip service towards, but avoid engaging in because “it doesn’t matter anymore”. Such a convenient excuse for inaction.

    I should never read these comments. I am, and have been very much aware of absolutely every point that is made here by the NBL Cognoscenti. I’m also aware of a number of other Black Swans that exist as threats to our world, even if climate change weren’t so threatening ( and I certainly agree that it’s tops on the list of threats.

    Those of us who are somehow connected to younger people, like our children, and like I’m connected to the younger Diners (which is to say by my heart strings) will never quietly accept death as a solution. Instead, we study, network, prepare,adjust our way of living, and seek what solutions we can dream up.

    Is my friend RE capable of being annoying and obnoxious? Yep. But he’s one of the good guys. Not a sociopath, not by a long shot. I know, because I know him, not from his posts, but personally. He is a man with strong opinions, but they are based on serious study. His contribution to the spread of information about climate change is substantial. He’s on your side, basically. Save your oh-so-superior attitudes and your vehemence for the climate change deniers and the corporate greedheads.

  • “So if I can envision [insert bad outcome here] that means I guarantee it? I’ve heard of blaming the victim, but this takes the cake.”

    I can envision all sorts of horrors. I’ve always done so from my earliest times. I have to practice (discipline myself) not to do it, for (from my experience) I have a very strong power to attract what I envision. If that is Tinkerbell territory, so be it.

    It’s not as if I see the human predicament in very glowing terms. I see it rather as you would a terminally ill person who still can enjoy life, given some luck, the body’s remarkable effort to survive, and a lot of TLC. Or it could be like those old barns that are just a puff of wind from collapsing, but in which preservationists intervene to arrest the decay exactly where it is. It doesn’t get better, but it doesn’t get worse. And it has a very enriching purpose by being there.

  • Thank you Kirk, Grant, Lidia, David and Artleads. I’m new to this forum and learning a lot from you guys.

    I have another question for anyone with the patience to answer 🙂 Can anyone tell me a bit more about why “complete collapse” is inevitable? I’ve heard no water from the taps, food at the store or gas, etc. I’ve read a bit about peak oil and the debt bubble but I’m not connecting the dots very well on how we get from here to there.

    What would cause complete collapse and what would the steps beforehand look like? Why catastrophic collapse rather than steadily worsening conditions? Why would the nuclear plants all melt down?

    Would the military/PTB seize the remaining oil? If so, why wouldn’t they allocate some of what’s left to keeping the nuclear plants from melting down? Wouldn’t that be priority #1 since they have to live on this planet too?

    Thank you all so much for your patience with all my questions! I really want to learn more.

  • Annoying & Obnoxious? Moi?

    I like Witty & Observant. Or maybe Sensitive & Emotional. 🙂

    Bombastic & Pigheaded is OK too though. 😉

    RE

  • It’s Over

    Once you understand what’s essential—
    That it’s over—the rest is tangential;
    To argue about
    What’s no longer in doubt
    Seems somewhat inconsequential.
    ==

    Thanks mo flow, and nice one yourself! 🙂
    ==

    Count On It

    Everything, as we descend,
    Will get worse till we meet our dead end;
    With all that doom brings,
    It’s nice that there’s things
    Upon which we still can depend.

    H/T: Gail @Wit’s End

  • Benjamin: great truth in a short rhyming package. Good job!

    I don’t watch tv much (and haven’t seen this show), but I read about this Walking Dead show and thought it worth the read, since the author looks into our approaching future and sees parallels to the show and asks some deep questions.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/welcome-terminus.html

    [selected quotes]

    WELCOME TO TERMINUS

    “The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
    – Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited

    “Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.” ― Philip Slater

    Collapse Will Be Sudden

    “That’s the thing about the collapse of civilization. It never happens according to plan – there’s no slavering horde of zombies. No actinic flash of thermonuclear war. No Earth-shuddering asteroid. The end comes in unforeseen ways; the stock market collapses, and then the banks, and then there is no food in the supermarkets, or the communications system goes down completely and inevitably, and previously amiable co-workers find themselves wrestling over the last remaining cookie that someone brought in before all the madness began.” ― Mark A. Rayner – The Fridgularity

    It is unlikely that collapse of civilization as we know it will happen due to some extreme event such as nuclear war, super volcano, or asteroid. When our central banker masters of the universe trigger the next financial system collapse, with no monetary bullets of debasement left in their pop gun, the resulting chaos when ATMs stop spitting out $20 bills and EBT cards for 47 million people stop functioning at Wally World will be epic. We got a glimpse into the future this past October when the EBT system went down in several states for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Zombies began to ransack Wal-Mart stores attempting to steal as much as they could get away with. Chaos, anger and criminal behavior was virtually instantaneous. A vast swath of EBT dependent zombies live in our numerous urban ghettos and when the EBT system goes down permanently violence will quickly erupt. Police will be vastly out-numbered, hungry mobs will become armed gangs of violent looters burning down their ghettos, ransacking and plundering businesses, stores and homes, and stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. Visualize the L.A. riots after the Rodney King verdict in every urban area in the country.

    “If people feel lost and alone and helpless and broken and hopeless today, what will it be like if the world really begins to come apart at the hinges?” ― Brandon Andress – And Then the End Will Come!

    “The values to which people cling most stubbornly under inappropriate conditions are those values that were previously the source of their greatest triumphs.” ― Jared Diamond – Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

    “What fascinates me is not so much humanity’s engulfment in darkness, but what kind of culture we will construct from the rubble of this one.” ― Carolyn Baker – Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times

  • Eddie

    Your seeing here something that happens periodically. people don’t seem to know who to trust, at least for now. I submit that this is quite normal with the way text communication is so very limited. I know you probably take that on board, but also if it was something like discussing your local ball team scores, it would be easy to understand. But this is the big issue!! So I think contributors feel a bit trapped at times.
    RE is one of the good guys it seems to me, but that is just my view. He has a good sense of ‘ordinary people being had’ issue, and I enjoy the focusing of his talks on peeling back the onion on specific issues is welcome.
    How do you become a diner regular?
    Keep you own faith brother, and I commend you for supporting, in a measured and calm manner, a friend who is getting some heat.
    Cheers.

  • Another example of clever, but not wise:

    http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2014/scale-model-wwii-craft-takes-flight-with-fuel-from-the-sea-concept

    Scale Model WWII Craft Takes Flight With Fuel From the Sea Concept

    Navy researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, demonstrate proof-of-concept of novel NRL technologies developed for the recovery of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) from seawater and conversion to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel. [Just what we need, more fossil fuels!]

    meanwhile:

    http://www.livescience.com/44635-tar-mat-on-gulf-beach.html

    Tar Washing Ashore Shows Gulf Coast Not Back to Normal (Op-Ed)

  • not to mention:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/04/scientists-recommend-crackdown-as.html

    Scientists recommend crackdown as oceans choke on 20 millions tons of plastic each year

    [ya think?]

  • “20 millions tons of plastic each year” I read that article yesterday and it’s still too large a number for me to get my head around. The entire plastics industry working overtime to dump trash into the oceans.

    In doing a bit a math, and most likely getting it wrong, it works out to be something like 139 billion 12oz water bottles. Which had me remember a headline from the Onion: “One little plastic bottle isn’t going to hurt anything, 300 million Americans think.” Talk about trashing the planet.

    Kelly: Have you noticed that it costs a bit more almost weekly to buy groceries? The food prices keep going up. Are your wages? Food prices are slated to keep going up. If you can’t afford to buy food you can starve, steal or riot. This is happening all over the globe. Once it is clear a government can’t feed the people, it will fail. Climate change is pushing the crop loss, the livestock loss and the food prices. Commodity traders out to get richer off the suffering of others aren’t helping. Despite all the technological advances, people need to eat. If they can’t, the whole system goes away.

    Of course, food is just one factor out of many that’s in trouble. The current US involvement with Russia over the Ukraine might be enough to end the US dollar as world currency. If Russia and China — both countries long sick of US bullying — decide to start trading in their national currencies instead of in US petrodollars, our money loses value and banks start failing again. The whole of economic system is a house of cards, and a cheating one at that. Foolish foreign policies along with pressure from climate change driven storms, droughts, floods etc might be enough to knock it down.

    And if you’re scrambling for food or safety or just running for the hills, do you worry about your job? Of course not. And neither do the people who work at nuclear power plants. They also have families to worry about and care for. Nuclear power plants need constant attention or they go into meltdown. They are huge engines without a dead man switch to get them to shut down safely. If the system is up for grabs, there isn’t a government in control, or a military in control. So the nuke plants meltdown, most likely in rapid succession of each other.

    Global human society is based upon things staying as calm as possible. Climate change is the monkey wrench to that. As much as we like to think we’re independent and free, we’re all deeply connected to one another and to our surprise it turns out a really bad growing season in one part of the world we will never visit might be enough to knock the entire thing down.

  • Grant, I’ve enjoyed your recent posts very much.

    Kelly, recommend reading through the archives. The regulars here hate having to re-explain everything to the newbies if it appears the newbies aren’t doing their own homework. Start with the climate summary. It’s excellent.

    For the people who still want to fight, I recommend trying to protect water for as long as possible. The climate change fight is lost. Protect water. Humans can only survive 3 days without it (and no, I don’t know how long other species can go).

    Stake the picket pin over aquifers.

  • @ OzMan

    I ditto your post to Eddie.

    @ Kelly

    Thanks. I’m not as new as you to NBL (about a year here), but new enough compared to others you list. Others could answer your questions better than I. Over on the top right of the main page, Guy McPherson has an extensive list of videos, books, articles that provide a base for his message.

    I don’t agree with all his positions–it would be a rare person that does–but his web site is the most exciting one I’ve come across. The high tolerance for conflicting perspectives might be one reason why. Beyond that, I listen to Guy’s presentations like an animal. I rely on an over all “body language” message, and his seems very sound.

    But, like you, I don’t see how all the dots are connected. Essentially, as I see it, civilization has done all the wrong things and very little of the right: mine that planet, ever more efficiently, beyond Earth’s capacity to replenish itself. (And, trust me. Nearly everybody here can give a more science-savvy explanation than I.)

    If I have to talk to someone who is promoting this way of living (which I believe puts us on a glide path to extinction) I go for the simplest, most understandable explanation (for me!) of the predicament: Arctic ice controls the jet stream, which is Earth’s air conditioner. As the ice melts, the darker water that exposes absorbs more heat, leading to positive feedback loops (like methane release and a long list of etc’s). Round about now, the jet stream slows down (due to Arctic ice loss)and buckles, causing very strange global weather. We can predict increasingly warm weather and therefore more drought and more positive feedback loops.

    That explanation might work (or not) for some Southwest official who wants to perpetuate sprawl and misallocation of water.

    Beyond that, it gets so complex that I know of no one who properly gets their mind around it. It isn’t just a science issue at all. It’s about everything–science, philosophy, religion, art, technology…

    But I’m sure you know all this. Globally, we’re doing massive amounts of the wrong things, and a mere trickle of the right things. My first instinct would be to try and turn that model on its head.

    Like RE, I enjoy a challenge. Unlike RE, I’m not interested in surviving off in the margins somewhere. I don’t like people (although, paradoxically, I believe in them), and being stuck in a limited space with a bunch of them MIGHT just drive me to suicide! 🙂

    But resistance, which Guy also advocates, means you put your whole heart into it, win or lose. Guy is quite sure it will lose, me not so much. Like you, I figure TPTB have everything to gain by changing paradigms. But that requires several orders of magnitude more resistance among the many than we have now. Everybody in the game. Not to forget soil, the most important means of restoration that you never heard of before.

    https://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2744

    Sure, given the glide path to extinction, nothing will grow…if you sit passively (or maybe even if you don’t) and watch. I see it as a sea-saw puzzle. The longer we sit and watch, the more entrenched the forces of extinction become. OTOH, restoration ought to have a positive feedback loop, and the absence of it a negative. My two cents.

    @wildwoman

    Yes. Water first.

  • I died tomorrow
    In my sleep
    A blinking spec of light
    I felt complete
    I Blinked back as a carbon cube
    My demise
    My reuse
    A stormy world
    Below me screamed
    I awoke
    It was a dream

  • Hello from SE Asia. I just returned from Cambodia to Thailand where I live. Let’s see – car and moto use in Cambodia, not to mention electric, wa-a-ay up. I met German engineer on holiday. He works for oil company in Nigeria. He jetted over from Africa for two weeks. Also, Koreans, Russians, jetted in for nice beach holiday. Me, I am forced to burn CO2 by command of Thai immigration- in order to leave the country, get a stamp, turn around and come back – now once every 14 days until my papers are in order, at which time I will have to bus 16 hours to Vientiane and do it all again. My hope that even a little or any fossil fuel will stay in the ground in order to avoid CLIMATE HOLOCAUST is now zilch, nil, nothing and none. Sitting in my neighborhood down the road from the refinery, I can smell the planet cooking right this moment.

  • mt – beautiful.

  • Anything But You – by Way Out West

    Anything but you
    Just won’t do
    I could carry on forever
    Until I find the truth
    Anything but you
    Just won’t do
    I could carry on forever

    When my heart stands still for a reason
    I’m in love with you
    When my heart stands still for a reason
    There’s nothing that I cannot do
    And my breathing follows you
    In my mind my actions too
    And in everything I do
    And my heart stands still
    and my heart stands still for you

    Anything but you
    Just won’t do
    I could carry on forever
    Until I find the truth
    Anything but you
    Just won’t do
    I could carry on forever

    To dream
    In a worn out world, in a plastic world
    Is to win
    To dream
    In a sought out world, in a broken world
    Is to begin

    Anything but you
    Just won’t do
    I could carry on forever
    Until I find the truth
    Anything but you
    Just won’t do
    I could carry on forever

  • Extinction and Human Nature

    Beating others and leaving them scars
    Lies deep in our own repertoires;
    Who’s on top, then, is moot:
    The fault’s, my dear brute,
    In ourselves, and not in our tsars.

  • Regarding the fuel from sea water, I would expect the EROEI of that process is highly negative. The point is that they can convert nuclear to liquid fuel at sea; no need to refuel. Sort of like using nat gas to process tar sands but worse.

  • Another effect of the Last Person Standing game writ large:

    Injustice and Inequality

  • For those  who think Dome living is more Horrible than Dying:

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Dome-LR1.jpg

     

    http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Dome-LR2.jpg

    RE

  • @Ozman

    Thanks for the kind reply. To be a regular Diner, nothing more is required than participating. We have issues with registration, which our webmaster thinks is due to spam bots attacking in force these days. To register, email RE at reverseengineer77 AT yahoo dot com.

  • Eddie,
    the plush interiors of the domes look spacious, fine n dandy.
    If anyone is going to survive this strange confluence of extinction-cliff-running-to, I like the chances of some indigenous peoples regaining their lands. These peoples here in Afraidia, before it was afraid, prior to chronic violent, invasion-mentality-tribes arriving in 1788, still retain ‘links’ to the knowledge of how to survive in these landed areas, but no telling what the conditions will be soon enough.
    Domes may be usable, but I reckon the yurt, with some local modifications will win out in places.
    Perhaps the larger domes in certain nodal areas, and satellite roamer-nomad kin moving around.
    Kinda like it use to be, with local tech…maybe?
    😉

  • RE – its not more horrible than dying for the beer bellied nitwits who enjoy the luxury provided by their gluttony. Its more horrible than dying for the folks on the zero side of this blue marbles zero sum game.

  • Once climate change kicks in hard, some people will have to leave their former living areas due to lack of water, parched land, dust bowlification, zombies etc. Pretty hard to fold up a concrete dome and carry it with you. I think Ozman has the right idea with a tent or some such. For all those already on the move, and those who will be joining them (and RE):

  • I guess people better start thinkin’ about becoming somewhat self-sustaining in their living because what we have now is falling apart (and we aren’t keeping up):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/nyregion/beneath-cities-a-decaying-tangle-of-gas-pipes.html?_r=0

    Beneath Cities, a Decaying Tangle of Gas Pipes

    Nearly half of the gas mains operated by Con Edison and National Grid were installed before 1940, federal records show.

    It is a danger hidden beneath the streets of New York City, unseen and rarely noticed: 6,302 miles of pipes transporting natural gas.

    Leaks, like the one that is believed to have led to the explosion that killed eight people in East Harlem this month, are startlingly common, numbering in the thousands every year, federal records show.

    [further down]

    There are more than 1.2 million miles of gas main pipes across the country. Last year, gas distributors nationwide reported an average of 12 leaks per 100 miles of those pipes. [read the rest]

    Of course the real problem is becoming loss of habitat for other species as a result of climate change. Here are two examples (from Desdemona Despair, links to original articles, as is the above):

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/alarming-decline-wild-moose-new-hampshire/

    Researchers track New Hampshire moose in hopes of pinpointing cause of population decline

    https://news.mongabay.com/2014/0407-mann-polarbear-diet.html

    From seals to starfish: polar bears radically shift diet as habitat melts

  • Actually, Artleads, you still don’t get it. Water will be our last fight before we go extinct. Still worth the fight, but we’re gonna lose that one just like we lost the climate battle. People are too fucking stupid, too sold on their fantasy worlds, too self oriented to do enough fast enough.

    Your friend and mine, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon/Mobil and murderer in chief, has said, in writing, Yep, climate change is real (after spending dog knows how much to deny it), yep, it’s having consequences, and no, we won’t stop extracting……

    Is that not a declaration of war? If no one hears a declaration of war, does it still exist?

    If he had said, yep, fracking is polluting water, yep, people are gonna die, and nope, we won’t stop…..would that be any different at all?