Will Religion Become Extinct Before Us?

by Alton C. Thompson

A recent study showed that from about 1970 to 1990 the percent of the United States population in the “unaffiliated” category—so far as religious identification is concerned—varied somewhat, but showed  no distinctive trend either upward or downward.  Since 1990, however, until 2010, the trend has been definitely upward.  The author of the study—Allen B. Downey, a Professor of Computer Science at Olin College of Engineering (in Massachusetts)—discovered (unsurprisingly!) a rather strong correlation between that trend and the trend in internet usage (note that each of the graphs below has a different Y scale, which can easily lead to misinterpretation of what the second graph “says” relative to the first one):

Thompson graphic for NBL

The question that this posed for Downey was:  Is there a cause and effect relationship here—in that internet users are more likely to be “unaffiliateds” than non-internet users, because internet usage promotes becoming unaffiliated?

Certainly such a relationship is plausible, given that the internet puts a wealth of information (and disinformation!) at one’s fingertips, enabling one to be exposed to a great variety of views, thereby broadening one’s horizon—and thereby causing one to question the verities that one had been exposed to up to the time when one began internet browsing.

But just because the relationship postulated here is a plausible one, it does not follow that it is an actual one—given the old “saw” that “correlation does not prove causation.”  Downey, however, was intent on investigating the relationship intensively, to determine whether there was a reasonably good basis for concluding that internet usage tends to lead to becoming unaffiliated with religion.

To conduct his research Downey went to the General Social Survey, which:

aims to gather data on contemporary American society in order to monitor and explain trends and constants in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes; to examine the structure and functioning of society in general as well as the role played by relevant subgroups; to compare the United States to other societies in order to place American society in comparative perspective and develop cross-national models of human society; and to make high-quality data easily accessible to scholars, students, policy makers, and others, with minimal cost and waiting.

The data obtained from this survey consists of questionnaire answers to a series of questions, some pertaining to personal attributes (e.g., race, age, education, income, gender), others regarding one’s behavior, views, etc.  The problem with such data, of course, is that although a person can be expected to be truthful about some of his or her characteristics, the individual may be reluctant—for whatever reasons—to be truthful about some behaviors (e.g., sexual practices) and some views.  Given the latter fact, it is somewhat surprising that so many (a relative judgment, to be sure!) are claiming to be unaffiliated.

However, the results of a recent study by David Olson, Director of Church Planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church, found that:

the actual rate of church attendance from head counts is less than half of the 40% the pollsters report.  Numbers from actual counts of people in Orthodox Christian churches (Catholic, mainline and evangelical) show that in 2004, 17.7% of the population attended a Christian church on any given weekend.

What Olson’s study suggests is that the rate of non-affiliation may be far greater than the figures that Downey used.  That possibility raises the question:  What are the church attendance figures, from year to year, for the period 1990-2010, and how do those figures correlate with internet usage?  Given that such figures do not appear to be available, no answer to this question is possible.  However, because actual church attendance would seem to be a better measure of non-affiliation than the measure that Downey used—answers to the question, “What is your religious preference?”—it is difficult to give much credence to Downey’s results.  As the old “saw” goes, “GIGO—garbage in, garbage out.”

In the absence of time series data on church attendance for the period of 1990- 2010, it is impossible to know (a) if there is a trend, if so, whether (b) the trend is steeper than that for internet usage, (c) less steep, or (d) has about the same steepness.

In the face of our ignorance about whatever trend exists for church attendance, it is impossible to know whether Christianity will become extinct (a) before we humans do (around 2050 CE?), or (b) will become extinct at the same time—it not being possible for it to (c) become extinct after we humans are all “dead and gone,” of course, because we humans are “carriers” (!) of religion!

In a very real sense, however, Christianity—defined as the religion of Jesus—started on a path of extinction by mid first century, and was dead before the end of the fourth century, thanks to the Roman emperors Constantine and Theodosius I!

__________

Friday, 25 April 2014, 3:00 p.m., Hartnell College Alisal Campus, 1752 E. Alisal Street, Salinas, California, “Abrupt climate change” (description here)

Saturday, 26 April 2014, 7:00 p.m. California State University-Monterey Bay Alumni and Visitor Center, 100 Campus Center, Seaside, California, “Abrupt climate change” (follow on Facebook here)

Wednesday, 30 April 2014, 1:15 p.m., Hartnell College, 117 North Second Street, Room 209, King City, California, “Abrupt climate change”

Friday, 2 May 2014, 2:30 p.m., Forum Room, Cuesta College main campus, San Luis Obispo, California, “Abrupt climate change”

16 May 2014, 7:00 p.m., Terra Nova de Corazón, Ecuador, “Responding to abrupt climate change” (details on poster below, click here for additional information, and follow the event on Facebook here)

17-18 May 2014, all day, Terra Nova de Corazón, Ecuador, grief-recovery workshop (details on poster below, click here for additional information, and follow the event on Facebook here)

Ecuador

4 June 2014, Wyoming, debate with H. Leighton Steward, who often represents the fossil-fuel industry. Read about Steward here.

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

Comments 92

  • Au contraire, as we all fall, I look for a rise.

  • The question that is posed and what the study examines are two different things. What role the internet plays can be set aside, both because causation has not been established and because the general trend of growing non-affiliation can be observed in the decades predating the rise of the internet.

    The question then becomes, does exposure to new ideas lead to loss of religious affiliation? Causation would be hard to demonstrate, person by person, because they would have to answer, say, “Did reading a book cause you to lose your faith?” in the affirmative. But, in the aggregate, correlation can be expected to be strong. Historically, religion has maintained adherence by controlling information. When it is no longer able to do so, adherence declines, usually slowly and reluctantly, but sometimes precipitously, as happened in Quebec in the 1960s (The Quiet Revolution).

    Does immersion in new ideas alone account for a loss of faith? Given that many people hold on to their religious affiliation despite many encounters with ideas that are alien, hostile and corrosive to their faith, the answer must be no. So causation here is not sufficient. I expect it is not necessary, either. People can lose their religious affiliation for many reasons: they discover that riotous living is more fun, or, conversely, they realise that everyone at the church coffee group is sleeping with everyone else (but not them).

    As times become more grim, quick and dirty ersatz religion will gain some adherents, and the possibility that a new order that resembles medieval Europe in which religious faith holds sway cannot be ruled out. Morris Berman thinks it might take the form of New Age-tinged totalitarianism.

  • From what I gather Santa Muerte is the fastest growing religious movement in the Americas

    http://skeletonsaint.com/

  • “In the face of our ignorance about whatever trend exists for church attendance, it is impossible to know whether Christianity will become extinct (a) before we humans do (around 2050 CE?), or (b) will become extinct at the same time”

    This is a foolish question, because you will never be able to scientifically examine what forms of denial and delusion will remain lodged within the human heart.

    There are already many Christians, I believe, who are interpreting current collapse as the “end of days”. This time they’ll be right. Their rationale for what is happening *works* for them—it works to soothe the cognitive dissonance that arises when faced with the fact that we have “irrationally” destroyed our own basis for survival. I have no doubt that Christians will be able look around at piles of dead bodies and calmly interpret it as “God’s will” because of gay marriage or whatever excuse takes the blame off of them personally. If it’s their neighbor or even a family member, well then that person must have harbored lust in their heart. It’s really pretty neat how it works: to use some of the language I’ve heard lately, it’s a narrative of “unlimited explanatory power”.

    Plus the Bible in particular is chock-full of death and destruction so, if anything, Bible Believers are better prepared for it mentally than non-fundie modernists or peddlers of techno-hopium or New-Age nonsense about humans maturing and awakening to different, non-human, behavior.

  • According to religionists it depends on the rapture, according to scientists it depends on politics (Religion Science).

  • More Americans believe in angels as personal guides instead of climate change. Every dark age sees an uptick in religious belief, and we’ve got plenty of religious leaders in the government. That people are more fixated upon the Book of Revelations Doomsday Death Cult of Christianity that is outside of most churches does not show a great understanding of humanity taking place.

  • Robin Datta,
    When I read the title “Changes in Americans’ Religious Affiliation” I thought it read “Affliction”
    I think my sub-conscience is having a party & I wasn’t invited.lol
    ……

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/the-near-term-extinction-debate.html

    ” There are only two areas where I would question Paul. The first is that he does not seem to have heard Guy McPherson when he says that it is a question of habitat. As a conservation biologist he knows that outside a range of temperatures plants which provide us with food cannot survive. In an acidic ocean phytoplankton is unable to survive.”

    “These are not of the nature of crop failures due to extreme weather. This is a permanent removal of support for human and mammalian life.”

    Guy should ask at each talk or interview: “Now what is it that you don’t understand?” rofl

    Keep going Guy!

  • Less than 50% the population of baby Maine lobsters compared to 2007:
    http://wwlp.com/2014/04/22/baby-lobsters-on-the-decline-in-maine/

  • OK, this is probably not what is going on behind the scenes of the recent dust-up between RE & Guy…but what if they just decided to crank up the volume on both ends to get a little readership boost…it might look & sound something like this, except that both sides are relatively autonomous and of course there is no sinister Dr. Mabuse standing behind both of them, right?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXpdJLJqG9U

  • Some call it pre-Christian, some post-Christian, some a cult. It’s a mystery to me how the Rastafari movement intersects with religion. Buy it does not appear to be in decline.

    Music with mural

  • @ Artleads

    It’s a mystery to me how the Rastafari movement intersects with religion.

    Why the fuck don’t educate yourself, it only takes an effing click !

    It’s well known that it’s roots come from Coptic Christianity of Ethiopia.

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

  • I do not believe in life after death.
    I do not believe in evolution.
    I do believe in life as God and creative intelligence.
    I do not believe in string theory, multiple universes, etc.
    I do not believe green energy is green.
    I do not believe in family values and violence.
    I do believe in 2 years China’s debt of $15t in 5 years will pop.
    I do believe in 10 years humans will fight for food and water.
    I do believe in 13 years catastrophic climate change is unfixable.
    I do believe in 30 years cascading mass extinction collapse is done.
    I don’t believe humans will be extinct, but may wish they were.
    I do believe the next financial crisis will matter more than all.
    I do believe the violence will start then.

  • Natural Selection Accelerates NTE

    Eight Energy Myths Explained by Gail Tverberg
    http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/04/23/eight-energy-myths-explained/

    Let’s see:
    1. World Energy Consumption
    2. World Population
    3. World Per-Capita Energy Consumption
    4. World Population Growth
    5. World Supply of Fossil Fuel

    Viewing the figures reveals that the first four are increasing at an exponential rate while the last is decreasing at an exponential rate.

    What is an Exponential Rate?
    We live in an exponential environment. For example compare the slider or dimmer knob movement when dimming an incandescent light bulb; the control has to be moved almost half way before the bulb glows and then with a little more movement the brightness doubles, a little more movement and the brightness doubles again. The same is true for turning up the volume on a radio or adjusting the hot-water knob in the shower.

    Using the linear-to-doubling-time equation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubling_time) let’s look at obvious doubling intervals. The oil industry has experience a typical ~5% growth per year in world oil production, thus, we will need as much oil in the next ~14 years as we have consumed in the last ~125 years. In the next ~30 years we need four times the oil consumed in the last ~125 years. In the next ~45 years we will need eight times the oil consumed in the last ~125 years and so on.

    The world currently consumes 86 million barrels of oil a day. As an Exxon-Mobil engineer said to me: “I cannot imagine how much 86 million barrels of oil looks like.”

    In another example of exponential growth, assume we have access to other planets to inhabit. Once we realize the Earth is over populated (going from 7 to 14 billion people in ~35 years @ 2% growth) we jump to a new plant. But after 70 more years will need four planets. And 105 years later we will need eight planets and so on.

    Thus, Natural Selection Accelerates NTE. It is just nature, nothing more, nothing less…

  • Monotheism in all of its forms has stood aside in a cowardly manner while capitalism,consumerism, and fossil-fuel-ism has sent the world into a death spiral. But the real culprits are the many adherents of the above isms.

  • Martin,
    “As times become more grim, quick and dirty ersatz religion will gain some adherents, and the possibility that a new order that resembles medieval Europe in which religious faith holds sway cannot be ruled out.”

    Do times get grim?
    Or does it depend on your demographic?
    1929-Europe, America, Canada, Afraidia, all doing it tough, but not everyone.
    The term ‘Old Money’ comes to mind and those with assets that amount to more than a fortnightly pay-check, are less affected in ‘Hard Times’ but in the longer run actually profit from others financial and economic woes. I would be willing to bet that every slide, recession or depression in modern times has been followed by a resetting of wages and conditions for workers that are done in a period when historically the working people had least bargaining power.
    So until everyone, every demographic is doing it tough, economic hard times is not a real descriptor of what is going on. Those times are actually times of reaping for the insulated classes and families. The profits actually flow later, when the dials are set to better suit the elite.
    One would have to acknowledge your general point, and it is one of my observations that the collusion between the churches here in Afraqidia, now picking up a greater welfare burden, have trucked with the Devil, in giving food vouchers in plastic so even poor people shop at the big supermarket chains. So, the money from Gubmint, slated for family food support, goes straight into the Big retailers, whereas it was once allowed to be used at the beneficiaries discretion at many local shops.
    The churches will suck more child minded adults in, in the near future, but how could one stop this from happening?
    Education maybe?
    I think these groups I see still providing support, and counting souls too, but they will not prevail, because theirs is a lay down and die religion, the goodies come in a later life, and I think that only works for a protracted period if conditions improve for you, being part of their brand of cheese mongery.
    And conditions won’t improve. I could see a successful eco-socialist evangelical church succeeding by convincing kiddies that we ;sinned’ by destroying the Earth, but I’d want to see a good account of the Gilgermesh tale, given tree killing was idealised and lionised even back then. Lots of science to back up that massive SIN.
    I do get that sinking feeling though that many lost souls will as you say, flock back to the folds, and get lost-er!
    ;(

  • OzMan,

    Your point about demographics is well made, and the detail about church food vouchers is a revelation. Perhaps mainstream churches, working hand in glove with moneyed interests, will not prevail, but I can’t see that happening because of the reason you surmise, which is their reward-in-the-next-life formula. That hasn’t proved a handicap in the past and, anyway, it is hardly true. These men stealers offer every pigeon a package deal: inclusion in a community, safety, a toolbox of values and ideals, three square meals, and somebody to blame. All in this life. Sounds sweet to me.

    I can’t agree either with the idea that religious adherents are lost. People seek meaning and they take it where they find it. I find meaning in the near-perfect fit between a bumblebee abdomen and a foxglove flower. So I grow foxgloves. I don’t think this means I’m lost. 🙂

  • Sorry if I sound a bit flip. One other thing, meshing with what you said about a green church. I know I’ve said it before in this space, but that was ages ago, so I’ll say it again, echoing something I believe Derrick Jensen said.

    The last surviving stragglers, if there are any who get through the bottleneck, will have a religion that will have as its central ethos:

    “We can never do that again.”

  • Will religion become extinct before we do?

    Yawn.

    Kinda like the question: Are we alone? Idiot men go to space in search of intelligent life because they can’t recognize it in dolphins, whales, primates and other species right here on earth.

    Idiot men can’t see much of anything. Too busy killing.

    Idiot men rewrite the portions of the new testament they don’t like…turning Jesus into a moneymaker.

    Religion is one of the reasons we will go extinct.

  • Martin

    You lost me when you seemed to equate bumble bee growing to a religion.Your description:

    ‘These men stealers offer every pigeon a package deal: inclusion in a community, safety, a toolbox of values and ideals, three square meals, and somebody to blame. All in this life.’

    Is very well put…. neat and tidy.

    I call them lost because they are not in touch with the life energies in the world. Their reality is in their head, full of formulas for salvation. That’s all. I was not positing a religion is where you find meaning.
    On the loss of faith thing for the Churches….
    I think losing faith is simply a combination of growing beyond childhood and not seeing clearly that those around you, (the religious cocoon) have not. That is why it is the one growing that feels ‘wrong’, but really it is all because your mind grows, and others’ around you don’t.
    They give out lollies to kids to do scripture in our elementary schools here. It starts early here, both the diabetes and the salvationist coercion.
    Cheers.

  • A small group of folks I hang out with, who are CC and PO aware for the most part, just started watching Years of Living Dangerously together.

    I thought it interesting watching Don Cheadle ask folk in Plainfield TX about CC, and whether it may have had an effect on the drought which resulted in the closing of a Cargill plant, the largest local employer.

    A deeply fundamentalist demographic, to be sure, and one could just be dismissive of it I suppose, but I found it even more interesting to watch Katharine Hayhoe, of Texas Tech, be able to relate to this demographic because she herself is a fairly fundamentalist Christian and is married to a pastor.

    I’m sure Richard Dawkins would give her a tongue lashing for her lack of scientific purity, but I have to say I’m still impressed with her. By relating to her fundamentalist friends and community she has made inroads into the acceptance of CC as a real phenomenon.

    Now if only there were something that could be done about CC this sort of approach might be helpful…

  • OzMan,

    First, I will have to try again at a follow-up comment that seems to have got lost:

    OzMan, sorry if I seem a bit glib. As to your interesting idea of a “green church,” it is my contention that if any humans make it through the bottleneck, they will be a religious community, but one not recognisable to our modern eyes. And they will have, as their central credo, to borrow from Derrick Jensen,

    “We can never do that again.”

    You picked up that I wrote a big, fat non-sequitur. Oops. Sorry about that. I understand you better now.

    The lollies and the scripture readings sound like classical conditioning to me. 😉

  • Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud killed almost 2,000 nearly extinct houbara bustards while on a 21-day hunting trip in Pakistan.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/04/22/Saudi-prince-kills-about-2000-endangered-birds-on-safari/6461398195900/#ixzz2zo3WSZt0

  • Many people will cling to god and guns when they are afraid or don’t understand that “science stuff”. As we get closer collapse, I think religious belief will increase.

  • Idiot men go to space in search of intelligent life because they can’t recognize it in dolphins, whales, primates and other species right here on earth.

    Everything below this in your post is (as they say in Houston) A-OK by me.

    Some human space travelers are idiot men, and some others are women.
    Some have even been prophesied by popular culture, viz:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsjFi4KkOZc

    Certainly someone like Ed Mitchell wouldn’t have a problem recognizing intelligent life among the animals you mentioned.

    From another angle, I doubt you’ll find a quote from John Lilly saying that space exploration is a waste of time…maybe something to be postponed until we know more about dolphins, whales, etc., but not something to be avoided.

    So, yeah, it’s only about 10% women in space at this point, but it’s almost sure to get closer to 50%…if not this decade, then certainly by the time the Billionaires’ one-way escape rocket takes off with Rinehart, Ellison, Musk, Gates, Allen, etc., etc. on board.

    Risking moderation (Leary’s admonition comes to mind…Take big bites; moderation is for monks.), a coupla more links…

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

    The sad thing for me is that we (they) might get off the planet and survive but not adopt the Jensen credo quoted above by Martin until the 3rd or 4th planet is laid waste…we’re predictably clever but not predictably smart, and considered as a mass we’re suuuch slow learners.

  • Idiot men go to space in search of intelligent life because they can’t recognize it in dolphins, whales, primates and other species right here on earth.

    Everything below this in your post is (as they say in Houston) A-OK by me.

    Some human space travelers are idiot men, and some others are women.
    Some have even been prophesied by popular culture, viz:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsjFi4KkOZc

    Certainly someone like Ed Mitchell wouldn’t have a problem recognizing intelligent life among the animals you mentioned.

    From another angle, I doubt you’ll find a quote from John Lilly saying that space exploration is a waste of time…maybe something to be postponed until we know more about dolphins, whales, etc., but not something to be avoided.

    So, yeah, it’s only about 10% women in space at this point, but it’s almost sure to get closer to 50%…if not this decade, then certainly by the time the Billionaires’ one-way escape rocket takes off with Rinehart, Ellison, Musk, Gates, Allen, etc., etc. on board.

    Risking moderation (Leary’s admonition comes to mind…Take big bites; moderation is for monks.), a coupla more links…

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

    The sad thing for me is that we (they) might get off the planet and survive but not adopt the Jensen credo quoted above by Martin until about the 3rd or 4th planet is laid waste…we’re predictably clever but not predictably smart, and considered as a mass we’re suuuch slow learners.

  • The Sixth Great Extinction and God

    “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth….And it repented the LORD that he had made man….And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth….”
    — Genesis 6:5-7 (KJV)

    If God sees, to his chagrin,
    The people he made now in sin,
    It should be understood
    That this time he’ll make good
    On his threat to do us all in.

  • All those space related comments above encouraged me to post this mildly related video by Terence McKenna:

    from 3:25 onward he explains that we wouldn’t depart for the stars under orderly conditions, instead it is a fire in the mad house that would make this possible.

    While some might find this way too hopeful it adequately describes the situation we might find ourselves in once it becomes all too obvious that we have been flying on fumes for some decades now held up by a kind of innovation that appears to be used mainly to protect prior investments into infrastructure or to support refinements of existing technology.

    Interestingly brains work better while fasting:

    http://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2012/summer/dont-feed-your-head

    So maybe a period of fasting between gluttony and starvation could spark some much needed bright ideas.

    Regarding the question whether there will be any Christians around for the apocalypse, I’m sure there will be a few holdouts. The other question whether religion will become extinct before us the article never really touched though. I’m sure there are religions without end, maybe people have no reason to run from them.

  • @Artleads

    Interesting link, thanks.
    I might or might not read some of the fellow’s source writings, but at a slow glance they seem very similar to theories put forth by Carl Oglesby in his book “The Yankee and Cowboy War: Conspiracies from Dallas to Watergate”, long out of print, buy much of which is available in HTML format here:

    http://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?9223-The-Yankee-and-Cowboy-War#.U1lynfldX6Y

    A quote from Oglesby:

    “…a multitude of conspiracies contend in the night. Clandestinism is not the usage of a handful of rogues, it is a formalized practice of an entire class in which a thousand hands spontaneously join. Conspiracy is the normal continuation of normal politics by normal means…. The whole thrust of the Yankee/ Cowboy interpretation in fact is set dead against the omnipotent-cabal interpretation … in the respect that it posits a divided social-historical American order, conflict-wracked and dialectical rather than serene and hierarchical, in which results constantly elude every faction’s intentions because all conspire against each and each against all…. Conspiratorial play is a universal of power politics, and where there is no limit to power, there is no limit to conspiracy.”

    I am always fascinated by people of any identifiable political stripe who get twitchy and flustered by mention of high-level conspiracies.
    On one hand they seem to be OK with the idea that sociopaths rise to the tops of hierarchies, but on the other hand, they are afraid to imagine what happens when a bunch of sociopaths get together. What do they think happens other than criminal behavior running the gamut from simple insider trading schemes up to more complicated plots which involve, at least as Plans B & C, one or more murders ? DOH !

    If you’re interested in a fictional take on the Kennedy assassination (but with many real people’s names attached to characters), try James Ellroy’s political noir trilogy of American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood’s a Rover.
    —————————————————–

    @kt256

    Thanks for the McKenna clip…as Arte Johnson used to say, “Verrry Interesting”.

    As to your “…flying on fumes for decades…”, try this interview with a former managing director director at Goldman Sachs (who quit years ago and went, for lack of a better term, to the other side).

    Religion may well be with us up until the Last Person Standing, but we might see banks become extinct before humans.
    Like the joke that asks what do you say about a busload of lawyers going over a cliff…Well, it’s a start.

  • infanttyrone

    Yes. It’s hard to imagine what sociopaths do together, so I appreciate your information. I didn’t know what to think about the link that someone sent to me. But if Gorton was doing something valid, and would benefit by getting the word out, I thought it worth a go to share it on NBL.

  • It matters not what church you attend.

    We all worship at the Church of Growth, whose deity promises eternal capital gains.

  • Ulvfugl
    I found your link re the houbara bustards greatly more upsetting than the debate about the possible extinction of religion

  • Artleads,

    Re: infanttyrone’s comment

    Don’t know what to think about the link? The following might help. It is an extract from an interview in Conspiracy Digest with Robert Anton Wilson:

    Wilson: “[…] I also think the conspiratorial element in banking should not be overstressed, for two reasons. First, of course, it has been impossible to talk about bankers’ conspiracies since the 1930s without most of your audience thinking you are a Nazi or, at least, an anti-Semite. This is what is called a conditioned association, or uncritical inference, and, however illogical it is, it is very widespread. I’ve been attacking the bankers since about 1962, and I never stop getting mail from two groups of idiots: Jewish idiots who think I’m secretly an anti-Semite, and are angry at me for it; and anti-Semitic idiots who also think I’m a secret anti-Semite, and are glad to welcome me to their loathsome club. (Of course, what makes this “anti-banker” = “anti-Jew” equation totally absurd is that the biggest banks in America today [c. 1980] are controlled by old New England Protestant families—the “Yankees” in Carl Oglesby’s quite plausible “Cowboys vs. Yankees” scenario, which holds that these Yankees are in a life-and-death struggle with Texas oilmen and other Western coalitions.)

    “Second, and more important, I am convinced that the problem in our banking system is structural, not personal. That is, if Jesus and his 12 apostles took over the Federal Reserve tomorrow, but were not allowed to change the rules, the Fed would still be a monstrosity. In other words, it doesn’t matter who the players are. It is the game itself, the monopoly on issue of currency, that is the problem.”

  • Jimmy Donn | The Day god Died

  • Can’t let this pass to the infernerator…

    Probably breeching a few copyright laws, but in the interest of public health….

    ‘A rising tide: the case against Canada as a world citizen’

    http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/langlo/PIIS2214109X14701998.pdf

    A few quotes:

    “A generation ago, Canada was perceived to be an exemplary global citizen by the rest of the world: it took the lead on a host of international issues, including the Convention of Child Rights, freedom of information, acid rain, world peacekeeping, sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid regime, and humanitarian and development assistance—much of this under conservative leadership.
    During recent years, Canada’s reputation as a global citizen has slipped, in recent months more precipitously than ever before, and in new directions. The Climate Action Network1 recently ranked Canada 55th of 58 countries in tackling of greenhouse emissions. Results of other analyses2 show a government systematically removing obstacles to resource extraction initiatives by gutting existing legislation, cutting budgets of relevant departments, and eliminating independent policy and arms-length monitoring bodies.
    Canada’s reputation is further undercut by its silencing of government scientists on environmental and public health issues: scientists are required to receive approval before they speak with the media; they are prevented from publishing; and, remarkably, their activities are individually monitored at international conferences.3 These actions have outraged local and international scientific communities. A survey done in December, 2013, of 4000 Canadian federal government scientists showed that 90% felt they are not allowed to speak freely to the media about their work, and that, faced with a departmental decision that could harm public health, safety, or the environment, 86% felt they would encounter censure or retaliation for doing so…..
    Harper defends withdrawal of federal funding for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are critical of governmental policy, a reversal of a 50 year tradition of non-partisan support for civil society, saying: “if it’s the case that we’re spending on organisations that are doing things contrary to government policy, I think that is an inappropriate use of taxpayer’s money and we’ll look to eliminate it.”10 Consistent with this logic, the Government was able to continue funding NGOs sceptical of global warming and supportive of the asbestos industries.”

    Apologies for the length of quotes.

    However, since 1996, and again in 2013, you could have read this above description and thought you were reading about Afraidia, (Southern Hemisphere, big bit of real estate, can’t miss it, left of New Zealand). Substitute open cut mining and great barrier reef environmental pressures for tar sands activity, and even the de-funding of ‘Native Peoples’ advocacy and/or health related public advocacy groups; even crossover women’s refuge shelters of which Indigenous women are a significant ‘client’ base, read Afraidia too.

    While calling loud and clear now that Afraidia is in a situation requiring tight budget measures, (May13 budget approaching), Federal conservative politicians and captains of industry, who not so long ago refused to endorse a Reasource Rent Superprofits Tax which the RH Mr Kevin Rudd tried to implement, and was out-gunned by a 12 Million $$ advertising campaign, funded from the Mining industries, which even got an elected prime minister,(Mr Rudd), shopped and kicked out by his own party.
    Democracy???

    Well, that 40% Superprofits Tax was precisely originated to fill the big fiscal hole that may, or may not, be hitting Afraidia now.

    Scarcity brings many changes, not least the rationale needed to convince a sleeping public that we can’t afford all the things that support civil society, and social support for looser oldies and the poor,(self unmade and should just move on and disappear like the Koalas).

    A rationale, based on a lie of scarcity. All the while Canada and Afridia, it maybe remembered once former British colonies, (something there about a commonwealth ?…just can’t see it clearly anymore – the mists of time), are both selling off infrastructure like rail and electricity, once considered, and still by many, part of that ‘Commonwealth’, while breaking all records at opening the gates to the unseen hands of the ‘Corporations’ to come on over and just take all the minerals, gas and oil, for a pretty low price. (Called ‘fleecing’ in the old days).
    Another possible copyright catcher is also worth looking at IMHO:

    ‘Population and climate change: who will the grand convergence leave behind?’

    http://download.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/langlo/PIIS2214109X1470021X.pdf

    Wont quote from this, the question in the title tells its tale well enough.
    🙁
    No wonder a nice tight Tom Clancy novel, or a brief historical appraisal of early Chaldean Astrology, and a hot cuppa, by the fire is becoming so much more appealing by nights than looking on the interweb for signs of (intellegent) life!

  • “…the biggest banks in America today [c. 1980] are controlled by old New England Protestant families—the “Yankees” in Carl Oglesby’s quite plausible “Cowboys vs. Yankees” scenario, which holds that these Yankees are in a life-and-death struggle with Texas oilmen and other Western coalitions.)

    Empowering take. I wish we knew more about the internal conflicts of “TPTB.”

  • this cancer of Earth-devouring christian philosophy has been metastatizing for 2000 years now. you REALLY think it’s gonna’ die out BEFORE the host dies? keep dreamin’, cowboy. the more difficult it becomes to deal with REALITY – and it’s obviously getting more difficult – the more the ignorant cling to bullshit fairytales to make it through the day.

    if all you religious wackos would stop being hypocrites and finally join your “creator” in his glorious heaven (by hitching a ride on a .45 caliber copper-jacketed lead slug to the temple, preferably) the earth might actually stand a chance. but no, you won’t be happy until you parasites suck the life out of THIS HEAVEN first, the way you’ve been sucking the life and joy out of EVERYTHING for the past two millenia, will you?

    the only thing that’s gonnna’ kill this cancer is radiation therapy – when 450 reactors finally go “upside down” for lack of energy to keep them operational… too bad it’ll take everything else with it. mission accomplished – “original sin” finally eradicated. fuck you all, fairytale-shit-for-brains.

  • That we are going is mostly bad. That we are taking almost everything else is really bad.
    We can only work on the latter….

  • ” ulvfugl Says:
    April 23rd, 2014 at 12:06 pm e

    From what I gather Santa Muerte is the fastest growing religious movement in the Americas

    http://skeletonsaint.com/

    Ipsa Res Loquitor

    Nothing but the Dead & Dying
    Back on NBL

    RE

  • RE you are a troll and an idiot. ‘Santa Muerte is the fastest growing religious movement in the Americas’ is a statement of fact. A news report. Nothing to do with a policy at NBL or a prejudice of mine or Guy Mcpherson’s and it’s relevant to the thread.

    The people who follow that religion believe that to respect and honour death is just as appropriate as to respect and honour birth and life.

    Most of Western mainstream culture tries to pretend death doesn’t happen. It’s an awkward embarrassment.

    You want to see what you want to see to match your own perverse distorted view.

  • Posted recently on Morris Berman’s blog, Dark Ages America…

    http://31.media.tumblr.com/30bb18edad128c6f223e759a4772fce9/tumblr_inline_mn9tg7GXSL1qz4rgp.jpg

    In case any of you were wondering about other reasons for the sacramental wine being red…and, no, you do not get a plastic crucifix with a Happy Meal.

  • Another Day

    I know that the end’s on its way:
    Every day I see more decay;
    Though I can’t tell you why,
    I continue to try
    To get through one more fucking day.

  • Fuck Captcha. I’m not typing all that again.

  • @UF

    It’s one thing to deliver a Newz report and another to be so obsessed with Death you can’t get through a single thread without 20 comments coming down the pipe about Dead People, Dying People, Hospicing People, Suicidal People, Euthanasia…etc.

    Nothing but the Dead & Dying
    On NBL

    We GET it. You SEE DEAD PEOPLE

    http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view7/2625477/i-see-dead-people-o.gif

    RE

  • @ RE

    Yet more trolling. Yes, it is one thing to mention that as news, all the rest is your own strawman fantasy without evidence to support it. We all know why you are here, whoring to find people with cash to support your scabby survivalist project. To me, that stinks.

  • Fukushima Didn’t Just Suffer Three Meltdowns … The Nuclear Core Has Finally Been Found … Scattered All Over Japan

    It Also Suffered “Melt-Throughs” and “Melt-outs”

    Source: GlobalResearch
    By Washington’s Blog

    We reported in May 2011 that authorities knew – within days or weeks – that all 3 active Fukushima nuclear reactors had melted down, but covered up that fact for months.

    The next month, we reported that Fukushima’s reactors had actually suffered something much worse: nuclear melt-throughs, where the nuclear fuel melted through the containment vessels and into the ground. At the time, this was described as:

    The worst possibility in a nuclear accident.

    But now, it turns out that some of the Fukushima reactors have suffered even a more extreme type of damage: melt-OUTS.

    By way of background, we’ve noted periodically that scientists have no idea where the cores of the nuclear reactors are.

    And that highly radioactive black “dirt” has been found all over Japan.

    It turns out that the highly radioactive black substances are likely remnants of the core.

    The Journals Environmental Science & Technology and Journal of Environmental Radioactivity both found (hat tip EneNews) that the highly radioactive black substances match fuel from the core of the Fukushima reactors.

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission agrees.

    Indeed, “hot particles” with extremely high levels of radiation – 7 billion, 40 billion , and even 40 billion billion Bq/kg – have been found all over the Fukushima region, and hundreds of miles away … in Tokyo.

    Let’s put this in perspective. The Atlantic notes:

    ” Japanese regulations required nuclear waste with 100 or more bq/kg of Cesium to be monitored and disposed of in specialized containers.

    The new government limit for material headed for landfills is 8000 bq/kg, 80 times the pre-Fukushima limit. ”

    So the hottest hot particle found so far is 5 million billion times greater than the current government limits of what can be put in a landfill.

    In other words, the core of at least one of the Fukushima reactors has finally been found … scattered all over Japan.

    Nothing like this has ever before happened before.

    (click title for article links)

    ~~~

    The Genie is out of the bottle. Helen Caldicott mentioned that a less severe distribution would eventually sterilize all male humans. It looks like Fukushima was an extinction level event.

  • Read Jung, regligion is not dead. Dogmatic religious movements are dying. The religious impulse has simply been transferred by more and more human beings to stories like science, materialism and money which is God. Where truth was found in a deity out there/in the heavens now supposedly science provides us with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Well actually it doesn’t. Quantum mechanics, dark matter mysteries morphic resonance are all blurring what the truth of the world is.

  • “The Genie is out of the bottle. Helen Caldicott mentioned that a less severe distribution would eventually sterilize all male humans.”- LS

    How long will it take for the population of Japanese males to be sterilized? As of 2012, they were still producing about 1M new Japanese each year

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/06/20130607_fert.jpg

    There was steady decline before Fukushima, but the rate of decline is not that rapid, from 1990 to 2012 seems to be declining at a rate of 12,500/yr. So unless it drops off faster than that in the coming years, it would take around 80 years to reach Zero. This takes you well past midcentury and NTHE.

    RE

  • Try a different captcha, please!

  • A quick word about Rastafari before this thread is succeeded.

    Bongo Puru was one of the founders of Rastafari c. 1930. For unknown reasons, he took a liking to me, telling me to pray to myself. Since I understood then and still little about the more general dogmas surrounding the movement, I liked this simple message. But if I must pray to myself, am I a religion?

    Before Bongo Puru, a Rasta whose name I don’t recall, advised me to join nothing. So if I join nothing and pray to myself, where’s the religion in that?

  • Perhaps Bongo Puru was trying to be kind to God.

    I mean, it’s not easy being God, is it. Just think of all the crap He has to listen to all the time.

    Perhaps Bongo Puru had the thought that if you prayed to yourself, that’d save poor old God having to listen to even more nonsense ?

    Why don’t you think about what the word ‘pray’ really means and what the word ‘religion’ really means ? You could even try thinking about what ‘myself’ really means.

    Tell me the answers next year, April 26, 2015. That should give you time, no ?

  • Artleads,

    So if I join nothing and pray to myself, where’s the religion in that?

    It could be Discordianism. Popular with the hipsters at Disinfo.com. Which is already a reason not to join. To join, all you have to do is declare it (in front of a mirror?). You proclaim yourself head of the religion and excommunicate everyone else. Praying to yourself is optional.

    To me this is unfunny dork humour, so I don’t know why I’m passing it along.

  • @ Martin

    Cake is very popular in England

  • @ Martin

    ‘Why did you ever have me?’ Samuel Beckett’s Hamm laments to his parents.

    ‘We didn’t know it would be you’, replies his mother Nell.

    http://www.stevenconnor.com/animalsport/

  • Natural Selection Accelerates NTE

    Offspring receives characteristics from each parent, some dominant, some recessive, and some RANDOM. Which explains why intelligent parents have average children and average parents have intelligent children. In fact, parent’s IQ scores match more closely than their children’s IQ scores. Which also explains how hard-driven professional parents look so kindly upon their useless millennial offspring.

    The present peak-empire environment is now selecting for those RANDOM characteristic traits such as amorality (morality is a hereditary trait), hypocrisy, self-aggrandizement, deceptiveness, superficiality, and social gamesmanship.

    In other words, calling all sociopaths! Religion? Internet? aside from being two unrelated human activities cobbled together to generate copy on a deadline, they just tools obtain a narcissistic end.

  • “It could be Discordianism. Popular with the hipsters at Disinfo.com. Which is already a reason not to join. To join, all you have to do is declare it (in front of a mirror?). You proclaim yourself head of the religion and excommunicate everyone else. Praying to yourself is optional.”

    Rastafari have a great objection to “isms.” And while there are people who wrap their heads–a recent sect within Rasta–and behave somewhat like Moslem fundamentalists, the original Rastafari had a very soft leadership structure in cases where there were “structures.” As the larger world saw it, there were no leaders. Whatever you’re talking about would have no chance of success. It’s coming from a totally alien spiritual orientation to Rasta. Self importance was assiduously and fiercely put down. Those qualities are what make Rasta as appealing as it has been.

  • ulvfugl,

    A dominative phantasmagoria of identification between man and animal has given way to a melancholy recognition of the epistemological fissure between man and animal, which means, in part, between man and himself.

    I wanted to run that through Google’s translation module, with English as the TO language, but they didn’t have any FROM choices that seemed to match it.

    I think this might be the short version of it, with music as a bonus.

    But there is one thing that torments me, when I delve into all this, and that is to know whether all my life has been devoid of love or whether I really met with it, in Ruth. What I do know for certain is that I never sought to repeat the experience, having I suppose the intuition that it had been unique and perfect, of its kind, achieved and inimitable, and that it behoved me to preserve its memory, pure of all pastiche, in my heart, even if it meant my resorting from time to time to the alleged joys of so-called self-abuse.

    Beckett, “Molloy”

  • I’ve posted anew. Catch the action here.

  • The comment section where this was posted is now closed, so I’m responding here.

    Lydia: “Read Ms. Campion’s blog about her getaway pad, and her US friends who are going to come down for visits (spoiler: I don’t think they’re walking to get there).”
    Visits? Believe it or not, the majority of my community *moving* from the southwest desert of California to Ecuador are doing so by bicycle, motorcycle (two just spent the past 4 months doing so), sail boat (many of my friends sail), and a van. I have been vegetarian for 25 years, navigate LA by bicycle & metro, rarely fly in a plane, and I made the conscious choice not to breed long ago. I apologize if my tiny (by American standards) carbon footprint makes me a hypocrite. Who among us isn’t?

    The people who were able to escape Nazi Germany before it was too late – do you blame them? I am getting out of the fascist corporatocracy while the getting is good, and providing sanctuary to many friends and family who would not otherwise have it. Sorry if that offends you, but I am only a humble Homo Callidus, being the cleverest I can be.

  • I’m having a great time in my illusion.
    From start-3:12
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8x73UW8Hjk

  • I do have none concern the Japanese not being able to procreate 100 out from now . I wouldn’t be concerned would they not procreate right now . Those islands are already way overpopulated as they are . Any decline of their population is good news . The bad news is not fast enough

  • @Cat, I seem to have remembered the word “retreat”, and I took that to mean someone leaving their normal living arrangements for a short period and then returning. Guy’s invitation to us here at NBL was not suggesting a one-way trip to your house, I didn’t imagine.

    You’re telling folks “I love that you are considering coming up for the event. We just got a new airport, in Salinas, which is only about an hour away. If you can fly into that airport, it’s the easiest.” And here I am feeling guilty about car trips to the store..! 😉

    At a friend’s suggestion, I looked into many of the intentional communities popping up in Central America (ic.org): most seem to run on an eco-tourism model—offering hospitality to well-off travelers (so I’m sorry if I conflated your project with those). While it’s certainly appealing to live in a part of the world that is still relatively unspoiled, what is this gesture but just more consumption? I would find it ultimately depressing to inflict myself upon the rainforest, in a “kinder, gentler” continuation of European colonization. [If you are honest about it just being a “bug-out” location, fair enough, but on the “clever” front, I would consider also that your deracinated tribe might be vulnerable to populations with a greater history in that place.]

    I’m not just annoyed with the general rush I see to colonize the rainforest, I’m annoyed with a whole cohort of younger folks I’ve been meeting lately, in my “green” state: The young guy who designed the permaculture food forest for our current yard went down to Guatemala or someplace just to party. A local natural-plant-dying lady who runs her own organic/eco-retreat center went gallivanting off to Jamaica and contracted malaria (oh, and she’s also now pregnant). Even the people who seem to “get it” DON’T GET IT. Or, it’s just thermodynamic background imperatives operating on them without their perception of it.

    But then, if we’re on the Beach of Doom, who gives a fuck? Smoke ’em while you got ’em. If it doesn’t matter what any of us does, then it’s “all good”, to use that mind-numbingly inane phrase, become tragically apropos. We’re all just gonna do what makes us feel good and what soothes our self-image in the end.

    I have all the money I need to buy something larger than your spot and get it all set up right now, but what I’m trying to come to grips with is more along the lines of “right livelihood”, and I will admit it is a challenge.

    If I believe in certain inevitable trajectories of nature as well as of human nature, then when faced with people seeking to maximize their access to current and future resources I should just keep my mouth shut! Apologies on that score.. :-/

    I’m sorry to read of your chemo treatments. Mine were horrible, and I can see the need for purification on many levels after that kind of assault. I hope you find healing in any case.

  • “While it’s certainly appealing to live in a part of the world that is still relatively unspoiled, what is this gesture but just more consumption? I would find it ultimately depressing to inflict myself upon the rainforest, in a “kinder, gentler” continuation of European colonization. [If you are honest about it just being a “bug-out” location, fair enough, but on the “clever” front, I would consider also that your deracinated tribe might be vulnerable to populations with a greater history in that place.]”

    I can’t imagine anything more vicious, ugly and cruel than hip, young white people moving south to these places. They simply destroy beautiful people and their beautiful land, all the more so because they know not what they do.

  • Hey pat – welcome back! What did you experience while away?

    all the best,

    Tom

  • @ Artleads
    I totally agree. Well said!
    I’m staying in the place with which I’ve connected for 30 years now. I know it, love it and communicate with it to the best of my ability.
    Escaping to the South just seems another version of utopia (even if only for a short while). But that’s so human … and when you’re still young… hopium is still a great temptation.

    @ Cat Campion
    Good luck all the same. Maybe you’ll all make it. May you find everything you wish for yourselves.

  • Consumerism and Materialist Capitalism are the religions. The don’t need official government sanction or definitions in the OED or Encyclopedia. They are simply the way things are, the collective cultural consensus, daily practice, salvation, in-group out-group, etc. Any serious student of religion and philosophy should be able to make the co-relation. As comedian Mike Daisey said in his ATG interview, The Money System is our functional religion. It contains the same tropes and rituals as any religious practice. Remember this next time you swipe your debit card or go to pray at the ATM for your assigned Disney World E-tickets. My guess is that if you are truly looking for transcendent spiritual realization and redemption, you are going to have to actually overthrow this particular capitalista paradigm. Anything less is just accommodating yourself to it and becoming complicit.

    Mike Daisey – Finance is Religion:

  • @ sabine

    “Escaping to the South just seems another version of utopia (even if only for a short while). But that’s so human … and when you’re still young… hopium is still a great temptation.”

    I was thinking of it more from the natives’ viewpoint. Colonialism has traumatizing (most?) third world people into belief that neither they, their land nor their way of life have the slightest value. They are inferior and whites are superior. It’s possible that as often as fighting and losing the fight to keep their land and culture, they have willingly given them up to colonials. Somewhat like giving away the Rembrandt you found in the dump because you didn’t know what a Rembrandt was “valued.”

    So they sit back and let the IC people come and put their value system on everything. The IC people don’t value soul. WTF is soul anyway? To agree with Webster, “Consumerism and Materialist Capitalism are the religions.” So I agree that staying where you are is an ethical way to be. My education and conditioning make me no longer fir to live where I was born, and so I keep away. Every place has its own magic, someone once said to me. Like you, I’m learning the “magic” of my place of residence.

    @ pat

    When you say, Save the planet, kill yourself, are you serious about it? Of 7 billion people now alive, what proportion is likely to suicide? Is inviting them to suicide a realistic way (assuming there were one) to save the planet?

    I guess “saving the planet” involves a few main things:

    1) Stop pouring GHGs into the atmosphere.

    2) Stop usurping (poisoning, cleacutting, trawling, developing, eroding) other species’ habitat.

    3) Ensure that fukes don’t go off and kill other living things.

    4) Mitigate/remove the extant GHGs that will (from the time of its release) take 40 years to affect temps.

    So what’s the best way to achieve these things? People killing themselves in significantly large numbers is unlikely to happen, and won’t affect numbers 3 and 4. You might just as well hope they will have enough self interest to act on the four issues while remaining alive?

  • Lidia and Cat-

    Those people moving to Central and South America should be committed to plowing the profits from their business ventures into establishing a rainforest conservation trust that preserves and protects habitat in perpetuity. This is what logspirit and I are doing. To date we have purchased and protected 3,289 acres, and we have another upcoming expansion of the reserve boundaries by 786 acres, which will take the area to over 4,000.

    The Pink river dolphins are magical.

  • Seems there is a lot of clearing up to do here…
    @Lidia:
    re·treat (rĭ-trēt′) n.
    1.The act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant.
    im·mi·grant (ĭm′ĭ-grənt) n.
    1. A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.

    My grandparents did it – fleeing the oppression of the British occupation of their homeland, seeking a better life in the US of A. Now, I am doing it – fleeing the oppression of the corporate occupation of my homeland, seeking a better life in Ecuador.

    “Colonize the rainforest?” The nearest rainforest to me is The Amazon, which is several hundred miles away – a 2-day drive, over the Andes.
    You drive a car to the store?! Now that’s something I haven’t done in years. But, I’m blessed/cursed to be living in a walkable urban area (although, no one walks in Hollywood).

    “Guy’s invitation to us here at NBL was not suggesting a one-way trip to your house, I didn’t imagine.”
    I asked Guy to publish the invitation because I suspected he had followers in Ecuador. And guess what – as soon as he posted, I was contacted by several people around Ecuador (mostly natives, but a few ex-pats as well). These are the people I wanted him to invite – both so he could reach his South American audience, and so I could begin to meet my new countrymen. The suggestion to fly into my tiny nearby airport was to someone talking about coming up from Peru, our neighbor to the south.
    Were you assuming his following is 100% Northern Hemisphere denizens?

    @Artleads (&Sabine):
    “I can’t imagine anything more vicious, ugly and cruel than hip, young white people moving south to these places. They simply destroy beautiful people and their beautiful land, all the more so because they know not what they do.”

    Racist much? For one, we’re not white. I do feel young in my 40s, but I’m no kid. And I don’t think most folks would consider us hip – dirty maybe, or crazy. We are a diverse group of mostly low-income, mostly brown (Hispanic, Black, Asian, Native, mixed-race, etc. Ask Guy – he’s met my friends/family), car-free, non-breeding, dumpster-diving, bicycle-building, urban foraging, garden-growing, music-playing humans, dealing with the planet and society we inherited the best, most loving way we know how. Every friend I have made in Ecuador (mostly natives, since I met few expats in my neck of the woods) has received me so warmly, offering to help my project in any way they can. I guess I can ask them in a few years if they feel I destroyed them and their beautiful land.

    And if that is the most vicious, ugly & cruel thing you can imagine, then bless your privileged, cruelty-free existence, because I can imagine (and have witnessed) much worse.

    @FriedrichKling
    “Those people moving to Central and South America should be committed to plowing the profits from their business ventures into establishing a rainforest conservation trust that preserves and protects habitat in perpetuity.”

    That is great what you are doing, and a nice idea for those who:
    a) are moving to the rainforest; and
    b) have a business venture that generates profits.

    I intend to have neither a business venture, nor a profit. I am not charging anyone anything to visit my land, eat my fruit, take a class, offer a workshop, etc. If people want to kick in a few bucks towards the man who helps us with the orchard, our tiny electricity or tax bills, or supplies for building tree houses, bikes & motorcycles, then that’s swell. Otherwise, I will continue to be as accommodating as I am able.
    (And The Pink river dolphins are indeed magical.)

    Assumption after assumption. Man, it is no wonder I don’t come here too often. The level of judgment here is high. I’m not really into telling folks (nor being told) how to appropriately experience the end of the world as we know it.

  • CatCampion

    In a recent post, I replaced “white, young, hip” people with “IC people.” Meaning to say, that although the hordes of people moving south are indeed white and hip, their race is not the essential issue. People nurtured and privileged within IC (which it would surprise me if you were not) have a value system–secular, first world, technology and efficiency driven–that constitutes a dominant world “story.” It’s like the diseases the conquistadors brought to the new world from Europe. Native people (globally) have no defense against it. How are they expected to relate to you? Must they change? How? What is your responsibility for that change? Have you considered it? I am not white either, and certainly not young. But I know to keep the fuck away from “natural” places/people from whom my western conditioning has estranged me. I have nothing to offer them. I don’t understand their dreams. I might better learn from them, but that is not the path I’m on. At least, I have no wish to inflict my “disease” onto defenseless people who have done nothing to deserve it.

  • Cat you’re just supposed to talk about how crappy we are here 🙂

    Good luck with your venture…I’m sure you will learn from the people of Ecuador and you will have something to give back to them.

    @ Artleads…what happened to you? When you first came here you were much lighter with whimsical speech, then I saw you beat down by others, condemning your manner of speaking even. Now you have shifted into a judgmental asshole it seems.

  • Cat-

    You miss my larger point, which is that it is incumbent upon us extranjeros to assist developing countries preserve their natural history through habitat/species protection.

    I do not understand the purpose of your organization.

  • “You miss my larger point, which is that it is incumbent upon us extranjeros to assist developing countries preserve their natural history through habitat/species protection.”

    In other words, it seems, to protect THEIR cultural heritage, THEIR way of looking at the world. Not just “their natural history through habitat/species protection.” But that is all very complex. To the extent that third world people have limited reach to destroy more than small areas at a time, if they destroy it at all, it might be best to leave them alone. A great difficulty there is that IC has already made immense inroads into the developing world, constituting a positive feedback loop. In those cases, another strategy (other than leaving them alone) is needed.

  • Artleads-

    The strategy I outlined has already worked brilliantly in preserving hundreds of thousands of hectares throughout the neo-tropics. AND we have the enthusiastic support of local communities since reserves produce jobs and preserve sources of clean drinking water, etc.

    You have no practical experience in this area.

  • Artleads-

    And can the anti-caucasian remarks. In my travels through Central and South America I have known MANY British, German, American, Dutch, Swiss, biologists and philanthropists making a huge difference. I have NEVER seen an Asian or Indian.

    What do you term the Asian invasion of Africa? In Madagascar, the ruling military junta penned an agreement with the Koreans to raze 90% of the countries remaining forest cover (which will result in the extinction of NUMEROUS species) for agricultural plantations whose foodstuffs will be exported back to Korea. The Koreans have NO environmental mitigation plan as part of their proposal.

  • Kling,

    Read the most recent NBL article. It explains how we blame the proximate players for the injustices wrought by the larger system. If you read what I wrote eventually, you’d see that was where I was coming from. Now you don’t fucking tell me what to think or say. I leave you alone with your Nazi crap. Don’t tell ME about racism!
    As to experience, how about being born and raised in a country covered with forests that are now gone? I have very practical experience with the SYSTEM (and the proximate players therein) that brought this about. Save your neo colonialist propaganda for the uninformed.

  • Kling,

    You’re also an arrogant and dangerous fool.

  • Artleads-

    Obviously you are too frightened to discuss facts so you resort to name calling- Nazi, arrogant, fool, etc.

    You are a complete loser and I have wasted enough time already.

  • Hahahaha, well I have my differences with Mr Kling over certain issues, but on this particular topic I believe he is a lot better informed than Artleads who as usual spouts bullshit and nonsense on subjects about which he knows absolutely nothing.

  • You’re totally welcome to eff off too! When you save the world, come back and we’ll talk.

  • You have got your knickers in a twist havn’t you Artleads.

    This blog is about NTE. Not about ‘saving the world’.

    Why would I want to talk to you ? What have you got to say that’s interesting ? When have you ever made a sensible intelligent contribution here ? You post comments every day, but it’s always bullshit.

    Now you’ve been making judgements about other people and about forests and you’re way out of line. If you get shown up for the being an arrogant ignorant fool, then whose fault is that ?

    Are going to learn something ? No, you never do.

  • “This blog is about NTE. Not about ‘saving the world’. ”

    I was being sarcastic.

    “Why would I want to talk to you ?”

    I don’t know, but you keep doing it.

    “What have you got to say that’s interesting ?”

    Probably nothing.

    “When have you ever made a sensible intelligent contribution here ?”

    Rarely, if I’m to base that on the couple times I’ve met with your approval.

    “You post comments every day, but it’s always bullshit.”

    Can’t argue with that. I do my best.

    “Now you’ve been making judgements about other people…”

    No. I don’t keep making JUDGMENTS about other people…only the very few who say offensive things about which I know better. And you have repeatedly accused me of agreeing with everybody, to the contrary.

    …”forests and you’re way out of line.”

    I’d ask you to explain, but don’t bother. I’m busy.

    “If you get shown up for the being an arrogant ignorant fool, then whose fault is that ?”

    Arrogant? As you have proudly described yourself to be? Are you using double standards with me?

    Ignorant fool? I’m in a pretty bad way. So is the planet. If the situation weren’t so utterly fucked, what you say might worry me more.

  • Keep digging, Artleads.
    You’d be better off apologising to Cat Campion and FKling and showing that you had some graciousness in your character, but you’ve never learned a damn thing since you came here, all you want is to be the centre of attention, and you’ll say anything to make sure that you are, any old shit will do, even if it means you get totally humiliated and ridiculed. Waste of everyone’s time.

  • In the fading twilight, primate play. That’s our highest state. Rolling and tussling about, gibbering and jabbering deals, within reasonable limits – that assure it’s just play. Play within bounds.

    Taking and consuming limits breached. Things aren’t much fun. Serious reality setting in. Life isn’t a game anymore. It’s alarming… but pathetically, all we know how to do is play… play is the only thing we’re any good at.

    In the fading twilight, primate play.