A critique of some of Guy McPherson’s views and certain NBL hangers-on

by Geoffrey Chia


Does humanity deserve to go extinct?

          “Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers won’t drown”  – A. Ransome, Swallows and Amazons


This turned out to be another long essay. However it is not possible to frame complex ideas into a thirty second soundbyte that the short attention span audiences of today have come to expect, courtesy of the mainstream media.

I have learned a great deal from the writings and presentations of Dr. Guy McPherson however I do not agree with all his conclusions or views. When evaluating any person (which we all do – to say we never judge people would be a lie) I tend to ask myself a few questions:


–        Everyone gets things wrong, everyone makes inaccurate statements from time to time whether intentional or not. On the whole however, is this person honest, do they double check their facts, do they generally try their best to get things right?

–        At their core is this person basically kind, generous and benevolent to others or are they a self serving egoist?

–        Of course, whenever I point a finger at another person, there are three other fingers pointing back at myself, hence do I personally have any right to criticise Guy or am I being an even bigger hypocrite by attempting to judge him?


In answer to the above, the evidence I have seen so far is that Guy is on the whole honest (but does occasionally get things wrong – which he then admits and corrects), is generally benevolent (although irritable at times, but far less irritable than I would be in his situation) and I suspect I am a bigger hypocrite than he is. Thus, consistent with my hypocrisy, I will now proceed to criticise some of Guy’s views I disagree with.

In recent times Guy has repeatedly stated that his worst mistake was to walk away from empire to set up his mud hut and try to live a low carbon, subsistence lifestyle. I disagree. He may have regretted the personal pain he suffered as a consequence, however that does not mean his decision was a mistake. One major reason Guy now has credibility with so many people is that he had the courage to take ownership of his moral position and do the difficult thing. If his goal was to serve as an example to others to do the same – to live more simply so that others may simply live – and he failed in that goal, then the blame for that failure lies squarely with others, with the clueless sheeple. I may be among a tiny handful of people who are trying to emulate his example, albeit in a more cowardly fashion (I am too much of a coward to exit cold turkey) and there are certainly others trying to do the same. If Guy had not at least attempted to do what he believed was right at the time, that would have been a mistake.

I too have experienced failure in my previous ineffective, puny and pathetic actions to introduce some sanity into this corrupt GIMME* establishment. Just because I failed miserably does not mean those attempts were a mistake and I do not regret them. You never know till you try.

My major disagreement with Guy is whether humanity definitely will go extinct ie. his seemingly absolute belief in the 100% inevitability of NTHE. My major critique of some of the NBL hangers-on are their anonymous repetitive useless miserable whining and the idea that humanity should go extinct since they assert all humans are irredeemably corrupt and destructive.

I reiterate: I regard Guy as analogous to an experienced top-notch cancer specialist who has reviewed all the evidence and come to the conclusion that the imminent demise of a patient, who is riddled with advanced metastases, is overwhelmingly likely. Indeed to arrive at any other conclusion would be dishonest, stupid or insane. However my position is that no medical specialist, even the most highly experienced practitioner in the world, is a clairvoyant and can perfectly know the future beyond any shadow of a doubt. There have been documented rare cases of unexpected recoveries from advanced cancer, presumably by the rallying of the immune system through mechanisms not yet understood. We can only talk in terms of probabilities. I agree that NTHE could well be >99.9% likely. My point of contention is in the remaining <0.1%

Based on the updated Limits to Growth projections (where all scenarios result in global collapse, even those with unrealistically optimistic inputs) and the multiple severe insults which will afflict human populations this century, it is impossible to conceive of any credible scenario in which the mass dieoff of billions of people will not occur this century. Mass culling is guaranteed. George Mobus made a good argument for this case: read “How we could save humanity” (half way down the page) on  http://questioneverything.typepad.com/question_everything/2013/11/index.html

Is it however possible to conceive that a small number of humans may be able to survive the next couple of thousand years (given adequate preparation, in certain selected geographic pockets) until the overall global climate becomes more conducive to humans? I admit it may seem highly improbable, but I assert it is not impossible.

What future do we face? There are a bewildering array of different projections of likely temperature rises by 2100 (more important will be the actual equilibrium temperature we eventually reach, which may take a couple of hundred years). Let us reject the “worst case” scenario of the IPCC AR5 (of 4.8degC on top of the existing 0.8degC – say, a total of 6degC), as being way too low, because actual events have been consistently worse than the IPCC worst case projections so far. Let us accept David Wasdell’s judgement that a global average temperature rise of at least 5degC above baseline is now baked into the cake on the basis of our existing CO2 concentration, even if all anthropogenic emissions were to cease tomorrow. Let us accept that the positive feedback loops may raise global temperature by perhaps another 7degC above baseline (the exact equilibrium temperature will be anyone’s guess). Let us say there is a global average temperature rise of 12degC. This will mean higher average temperatures (to, say, 18 or 20degC) over the continents, particularly over the Northern hemisphere. Everyone there is toast. However small favoured locations will not rise by the same amount. Consider certain islands in the deep South of the Southern Ocean near the remaining Antarctic ice eg the Falkland Islands, Stewart island (NZ) and probably the best candidate, Tierra del Fuego. Perhaps these favoured locations may rise by, say, an average of 7degC. The question is whether humans may be able to survive in those selected locations till global circumstances improve.


According to current records, average maximum summer temperature in Tierra del Fuego (January) is 15degC, hence if it rises by 7degC, average maximum temperature will be 22degC and if heat waves of an additional, say 10degC occur, it can intermittently rise to 32degC. That future maximum temperature in TDF will therefore be much lower than the present heat waves in Tasmania, which in recent years went up to 41degC (Tasmania is too far North and can be dominated at times by incendiary heat waves from the Australian continent). Severe weather events (including the fierce circumpolar winds around the Southern Ocean) will be a huge challenge, but the survival of a handful in the deep South may still be possible. Rainfall is likely to remain reliable around that area due to the prevailing Westerly winds caused by the rotation of the Earth, which is “unlikely” to stop.

Planetary temperatures will eventually cool in the long term (ie. a few thousand years) in the absence of large numbers of humans. The death of >99.99% of humanity soon, which may occur quite suddenly (eg over a decade or two), will result in the abrupt cessation of anthropogenic GHG emissions, a negative feedback loop. Arguably the various positive feedback loops already well established by then may release GHG equivalents well beyond that of historical human emissions, rendering the cessation of human emissions relatively unimportant. Having said that, without billions of humans around to interfere with the natural regeneration of the biosphere eg reforestation, a substantial degree of biosequestration of carbon will eventually occur, given time. Despite one contrary evaluation by Berger and Loutre, numerous scientists reckon we are now moving into a cooler Milankovitch phase, which will lead to global cooling possibly over a couple of thousand years or so. Indeed, without the extra GHGs, we could be headed toward another ice age in that timespan. This view is consistent with the icecore data patterns which suggest this planet, under “normal” circumstances (ie without humans), would now be scheduled for a cool transition.

How fast will our temperatures rise in the near term due to GHGs? Again it is impossible to know for sure. Using the paleorecord to extrapolate to our future has been one way of making an educated guess. Prior to one particular paper claiming that during the PETM, temperatures rose by 5degC over just 13 years


it was generally thought that the rise of temperatures during the PETM (6degC) actually occured over 20,000 years http://climatediscovery.com/tag/petm/

Where does the truth lie? The fact is, the further back we look into time, the less precise we can be about the exact duration of severe events. For example we can make a fairly precise assessment about the duration of a severe climatic event which happened 500 years ago, by looking at tree rings and other abundant corroborating data. Further back in time data become more sparse and it may be impossible to tell if an event which happened, say 100 million years ago, occurred over the space of 10 years or over the space of ten thousand years, as our temporal resolution is just too poor that far back. Judging the duration of a global temperature rise which occurred 56 million years ago is prone to difficulties. Furthermore just because temperatures may have risen 5degC in 13 years in one location during the PETM does not mean it happened that quickly worldwide. It is easy to conceive today of the temperature rising 5degC over 13 years on the coast of the East Siberian sea where the summer ice has disappeared and methane is being exponentially liberated, but such rapidity will not occur in locations near the vast Antarctic ice sheets which will take a considerable time to melt, certainly more than 13 years.

The PETM was not regarded as a major global mass extinction, but a lesser extinction event. If temperatures did indeed suddenly escalate by 5degC worldwide over just 13 years and did not cause global mass extinction then, perhaps that is good news for us, because somehow the majority of plants and animals did manage to survive such a rapid rise at the time.

How reliably can we extrapolate previous warm extinction events to the future of the human animal? It is generally correct to state that a rapid rise in global average temperature is fatal for this particular category of animal: the apex predator large mammal. And of course human beings are apex predator large mammals. We know in general that apex predators (especially those with specialised diets) are the first to go extinct with ecosystem perturbations. We know that large bodied mammals, due to their low surface area to volume ratio and inability to lose excess heat, are the animals most vulnerable to temperature rises. However human beings are not the same as polar bears or elephants. We have the ability to understand the reality of our situation, to quickly migrate large distances in advance to escape the most hostile habitats, to transport the seeds and livestock on which we depend with us and to plan systematically for a dire future (OK, perhaps not 99.99% of humanity – who are either clueless sheeple or defeatist nihilists, but perhaps 0.01% can understand and plan and act). We have the ability to use technology to achieve remarkable outcomes.

By invoking the word “technology” here, am I turning into the type of “techofix delusionist” or “cornucopian technofantasist” I myself have sneered at in the past? I do not envision us developing large scale thorium fission nor nuclear fusion nor artificial photosynthesis to generate endless sources of energy, nor do I believe in the prospect of colonies in space (although I have written a satirical science fiction novel on the latter). By technology I mean the ability to dig into hillsides to survive, surrounded by the protection of thermal mass, even as the exterior wetbulb daytime summer temperature exceeds human body temperature. By technology I mean the ability to construct massive stonewall windbreaks to shelter crops against the prevailing winds in the latitudes of the furious fifties or higher. By technology I mean the ability to take advantage of the long hours of summer sunlight in high latitudes to grow excess grain, then to store that grain for rationed consumption during the neverending night of winter in those high latitudes, perhaps even to survive on Antarctica after the ice has melted there. Such measures cannot be scaled up to save billions or even millions of people, but conceiveably may be employed to enable the survival of a a small number people in small favourable locations. All it takes to avoid NTHE is for a few breeding pairs to survive in just one location in the long term.

Even during the great dying of the Permian extinction, land vertebrates of reasonable size (eg considerable numbers of the pig sized lystrosaurus), made it through. Indeed it is estimated up to 30% of land vertebrates did not go extinct then (although 96% of marine animals perished). We shoud not just extrapolate bad news from the paleorecord to our future but also consider the possibility of good news: that it is conceivable a few humans could make it through.


Consider this scenario which I call “Project Ark”:

Mr BBB is a benign benevolent billionaire (billions of dollars are not actually necessary to fund Project Ark – a couple of hundred million should suffice – the cost of one hollywood movie). Unfortunately most super wealthy individuals are males, hence I use the title “Mr” rather than “Ms”. He has amassed great wealth via the GIMME establishment but feels empty and is searching for a cause which will confer a meaningful legacy to his life. His assistant brings his attention to the dire information on NBL. Mr BBB, being scientifically literate, becomes aware of the threat of NTHE. Governments are worse than useless – they are part of the problem, not part of the solution. BBB believes that by using his exceptional access to resources during this window of time prior to global financial collapse, he can confer a comfortable existence to a few thousand young people in the coming decades of turmoil and possibly facilitate survival for a handful of humans in the extended future. If he succeeds, he will be viewed by posterity as the saviour of humanity. What greater lifetime legacy can any person leave? If he ultimately fails, so what? There is nothing better to do anyway and no matter how unlikely long term success may seem, it will be exceedingly stupid not to try. If for no other reason, there is intrinsic merit in providing good quality prolongation of life (perhaps 30 extra years) to a substantial number of deserving young people, when their peers will be dying prematurely elsewhere.

Mr BBB contacts Guy McPherson (GM), hoping to enlist him as project consultant, to tap into GM’s expertise in establishing permaculture homesteads (experience GM would not have acquired if he had not previously attempted to walk away from empire). GM’s roles are to be in project planning and to educate participants in the method of scientific enquiry as the best way to figure out reality and solve problems. He is also asked to conduct workshops to help them emotionally grasp the difficult future they face, with a shot at, but no guarantee of success. GM is initially reluctant to join as he had already resigned himself to an early death and Project Ark contradicts his latest catchphrase of “don’t do something, just sit there“. However after intense persuasion, BBB finally convinces GM that the choice of an early death would be extremely selfish, as GM still has many years of life left to provide important service to others if only he would accept this opportunity. GM cannot be persuaded to live for himself but he can be persuaded to live for the sake of others. Accordingly GM turns away from self destructive nihilistic navel-gazing and chooses a life of service to humanity for the next three decades.
BBB and GM meet with Godofredo Aravena in Santiago to work out the details of Project Ark. Godofredo is asked to be the Chilean liaison who helps deal with the local authorities and is also commissioned by BBB to establish a fleet of sailboats which will provide passenger and cargo transport for Ark communities up and down the Chilean coast. Ray Jason is asked to be sailing consultant to the fleet, who researches suitable anchorages along the coast and corresponding land access to the intended permaculture homesteads.

The principals draw up a list of criteria for Ark participants: all are under age 30 (unless they have exceptional skills or expertise to offer) with a track record of community service and/or environmental activism and with characters deemed honest, diligent, reliable, selfless, generous and cooperative. Potential sociopaths and phoneys (and government “Judas goat” infiltrators) are actively excluded. Carolyn Baker (who appoints two other professional colleagues for assistance) conducts the candidates’ psychological screening for suitability. Selection is provisional for 6 months and depends on subsequent performance. In terms of skills, candidates have practical expertise in growing food, raising livestock, carpentry, metalwork, plumbing and even with diesel engines and offgrid electrical systems (such machinery will still be available for at least the next couple of decades). Many have been active in their Transition Towns groups. Some have been wandering about as WWOOFers. They may be single or may be young couples without (but preferably with) young children, all are in good physical health. They have little or no money. It will be impossible to buy a ticket into this project anyway, only merit can earn them a place. Many are burdened by outrageous student debts – which are immediately paid off by BBB.

Fifteen hundred candidates are chosen, to populate 10 communities of 150 people each, stretching from the vicinity of Concepcion in the North to the vicinity of Punta Arenas (near TDF) in the South. The land areas purchased for this project towards the South are progressively larger, those near TDF being more than 10 times bigger than the one purchased near Concepcion. In the initial years, fossil fuels are used to establish the homestead infrastructures and artificial fertilisers are provided to grow crops. It will be silly not to use those resources while we still have them, but their long term goal is to free themselves from such dependency.

BBB acquires a massive resource of various food crops ranging from tropical to temperate. Climatically appropriate seeds, saplings, cuttings, roots and shoots are distributed to the various communities at different latitudes to kickstart their permaculture villages. One long term seed repository is established near Punta Arenas in a cold vault at the outset.  As Concepcion becomes tropical, tropical plants and livestock are cultivated in that homestead and as the tropics move further south, these tropical saplings, seeds and animals are transported to more southerly homesteads by sailboat. As the lower latitude Northern communities become unlivable due to excessive warming, residents will be progressively evacuated by sailboat to the higher latitude Southern communities. Ultimately all participants will live in the vicinity of TDF, by which time it may be possible to cultivate tropical or subtropical produce there, the experience to do so being gleaned from those who originally established the Northern communities.

What livestock will be chosen? In the absence of human intervention, possibly 70% of all land species will go extinct. Humans will choose certain favoured species to bring along with them to the favoured locations. The rest of the planet will be completely ravaged. In past epochs after mass extinctions, it could take perhaps 10 million years before planet wide biodiversity was restored.

In the worst case scenario, if the vicinity of TDF ultimately becomes too warm to live in, residents can be evacuated by sailboat to Antarctica (a relatively close landfall being the Antarctic peninsula), bringing their seed bank and livestock with them. Notwithstanding the wild winds and seas south of Cape Horn, there will be occasional windows of relative calm to enable successful voyages. Some of the possible challenges to settling on Antarctica are outlined below.

Bill Gates, Richard Branson or James Cameron, are you reading this?


What is the absolute worst case scenario? Just as we can dismiss the low ball “worst case” temperature scenarios of the IPCC as being nonsense, we can also dismiss the high end ludicrous scenarios by some pundits who claim the oceans will boil off and Earth will become like Venus. The oceans did not boil off when the methane gun was fired during the Permian extinction and it will not happen in any forseeable future (not for more than a billion years, anyway).

We are too far away from the sun for the oceans to boil off and indeed in the distant past, around 650 million years ago, when simple photosynthesizing organisms sequestered too much carbon dioxide, this planet turned into “snowball earth”, entirely covered by glaciers, even at the equator, even though the Earth was closer to the sun at that time (as the eons pass, the Earth is slowly moving further away from the sun – the orbital distance is increasing).

I reiterate: the guaranteed dieoff of billions of people will be one negative feedback loop this century and our likely transition into a cooler Milankovitch phase  may be another negative feedback loop in the longer term. I am not sure on what basis some scientists calculated that the Earth is on in the inner (hot) edge of the “Goldilocks zone” for life (viz distance from the sun), however we know that, at least over the past 800,000 years, glacial periods have tended to be the norm on our planet and interglacial periods have tended to be briefer. If that is considered the hot part of the Goldilocks zone, I hate to think what the cold part is like.

In the near term what could be our absolute worst case scenario? The rest of the planet could very well become too hot for humans to live in, but significant areas of Antarctica, as they become ice free, will enter a temperature range suitable for us. In the past, large dinosaurs thrived in tropical ice free Antarctica. Large dinosaurs certainly generated and retained substantial internal body heat from their metabolism – some may have been truly warm blooded. Furthermore they would have had difficulty dissipating heat due to their low SA/volume ratio ie gigantothermia. If temperatures were suitable for large dinosaurs in tropical Antarctica in the past, they are likely to be suitable for humans in the future. The big challenge for humans on Antarctica will be producing food in the initial phase when attempting to settle on the coast. Furious winds and stony barren soils may render traditional agricultural methods impossible. Fresh water may be abundant in some areas from rivers fed by glacial melt, but torrential floods could be a problem. One possible solution could be the hydroponic cultivation of food. Enclosures must be protected from high winds while still allowing ample light in. In a barren landscape nutrients will have to be completely recycled and no organic matter can be allowed to be lost. Specifics can be worked out now, by conducting practical trials in locations which may approximate the future thawed Antarctic.

Once again, my assertion is we can only talk about future outcomes in terms of probabilities. I argue there is a nonzero chance that a small handful of humans could make it through the next couple of thousand years or so, till global temperatures become more conducive for more widespread human existence again. Giving up now, throwing up our hands in despair and not planning ahead is more likely to guarantee NTHE – to turn it into a self fulfilling prophecy. Planning ahead for a dire future may however confer a fighting chance to a select few.

Physiologically and anatomically modern humans lived in harmony with the planet for at least 150,000 years before the advent of civilisation. Even though over the past 6000 years civilisations rose and fell and caused some environmental damage, none caused irreparable harm to our biosphere before the advent of industrialisation. Pre-fossil fuel civilisation was not incompatible with sustainability.

History shows that many world changing events often hinged on a single critical decision or a chance occurence. Complete plunder and devastation of the entire world was never a foregone conclusion. Human history has largely been that of warfare and conquest, however there have been instances of voluntary retreat and contraction.

The largest land empire in history was that of the Mongols who almost never lost in battle. They were ruthless, cruel and merciless. Before the mid 13th century they had overrun Hungary, Poland and Croatia, had sacked and burned down Kiev and were hammering on the gates of Vienna. They had devastated the Rus (or land Vikings), whose abiding visceral dread of the Mongols lives on in Russian lore. In 1241 they inflicted simultaneous crushing defeats upon the Germans near Breslau and upon mixed European cavalry near Buda. The outlook appeared hopeless for Europe. Then it all stopped. The sudden death (from a drinking binge) of the Grand Khan at the time, Ogedei, required that all the generals withdraw back to Karakorum to work out the succession. Europe was saved by a chance event. After political infighting, the Mongols ultimately decided to cease their Western expansion and to focus on their occupation of China and India which were the main sources of wealth in the world at the time. A rational decision, to avoid overreach, not to acquire territories which were relatively worthless then (Europe).

The Chinese eventually expelled the Mongols to establish the Ming dynasty, during which they built fleets of ships which voyaged to southeast Asia, India and Africa (probably no further, despite the claims of Gavin Menzies). The first Ming fleet, consisting of 27,000 troops in hundreds of ships, voyaged in 1405, almost a century before Christopher Columbus and his three ships. The Chinese had paper, printing, the compass and ocean going ships – innovations Francis Bacon later cited as being crucial for the subsequent Western domination of the world (however he did not acknowledge their origins). The Chinese invented gunpowder which they did not bother to significantly weaponise. After the seventh Ming voyage in 1433, they suddenly stopped. After their own political infighting, they decided they had enough resources in their own country and were not interested in conquest, nor in substantial trade outside China. They had enough, and enough is as good as a feast.

The Mongols never regained their historical ferocity, not because of military defeats, but because they were eventually tamed by the gentle philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism. If one were to experience the kindness, friendliness, hospitality and generosity of modern Mongolians today, it seems impossible to imagine that their forebears historically killed, raped and pillaged all across Eurasia.

My point is this: there were examples where empires chose to voluntarily contract, rather than to overextend then collapse. Gentle philosophies can tame violent and murderous tribes and supercede the paradigms of violence and domination.

Even rapacious Western Industrial civilisation did have times of restraint as exemplified by the dismantling of the Standard Oil monopoly by the US government just before the turn of the 20th century. After the start of the Great Depression in 1929, the US government enacted Glass-Steagall in 1933 which protected the savings of Americans for many decades to follow from predatory psychopaths.

Arguably Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election due to the humiliation of the failed rescue of US hostages in Iran. The major reason for that failure was the sandstorms which caused mechanical problems with the helicopters. If not for the sandstorms, if the rescue had been successful, if Carter had been re-elected – would the US have gone down a different path by developing solar energy and reducing oil dependency (notwithstanding the Carter doctrine)?

George Bush Jr was appointed POTUS by the Supreme Court in 2000 and it is possible he may not actually have won the election. If Al Gore had become President by a fair vote count instead, we know for sure he would not have invaded Iraq in 2003 for their oil and he would have been a genuine advocate for renewable energy.

Is activism useless? For women in Britain to win the vote, the suffragettes had to be willing to go to jail for their cause. Civil rights in the US were not handed to African Americans on a silver platter, they had to fight for them and must continue to fight for them. Good on you Rosa Parks!

Not all human beings are irredeemably violent, stupid and greedy. If sufficient numbers had opposed the agenda of the psychopaths, things might have been different. In 2013 a young progressive Marxist woman, Kshama Sawant, won a seat in  the Seattle city council by popular vote. In 2011 human rights lawyer Park Won-Soon was voted mayor of Seoul. He had previously been jailed as an environmental activist. He has championed progressive policies and established a chain of thrift shops for the poor specialising in the repair of and cheap resale of second hand goods. Too little too late? Perhaps, but these are real world examples that true democracy can work if the voting public are active, educated and enlightened.

I previously questioned whether human dieoff was in the long run inevitable, by invoking game theory: the tragedy of the commons and the parable of the tribes. However using the examples above, I now conclude that even though disaster seemed probable, it was never absolutely inevitable.

By me stating that historical events were not foregone conclusions, that nothing was ever certain till they actually happened, am I contradicting my previous statement that we will see a guaranteed dieoff of billions of people this century, an event which has not yet happened? Not at all. We have already reached atmospheric CO2 of 400ppm, we have already witnessed (and continue to witness) exponential release of methane in Arctic coast and tundra, we have already consumed all the easy oil and are facing inadequate EROEI for industrial society to continue. We have already fallen off the cliff. What is not certain is whether the last few stragglers who fall off the cliff may achieve a relatively soft landing on the preceding pile of corpses and merely break a few bones, but are able to survive and crawl off.

Here then is my disagreement with Guy’s blog policy. I understand he values free speech and is reluctant to moderate any posts. Having said that, there is a huge difference between thought-police censorship and necessary editing. For example I am sure he would not tolerate anyone posting a groundless ad hominum attack, accusing him of being a pedophile, nor should any of us tolerate such a despicable lie. Such a post should not see the light of day and if it inadvertently does appear, should be immediately deleted. That is necessary editing.

Free speech is not a right unless also accompanied by responsibility. The key principle here is responsible free speech. Lies, abuses of free speech and use of profanity, especially by anonymous cowards, even if in support of Guy’s position (eg groundless ad hominum attacks) should be edited out.


Should Humanity go extinct?

I agree the worst outcome will be if a handful of humans survive and ultimately end up repopulating the planet to repeat the same criminal abuses against Gaia as our fossil fool generations have. Future planetary abuses on such a large scale however will be unlikely, because future generations will not have the same easy access to abundant fossil fuels. Our generation has already greedily harvested the low hanging fruit. Most importantly, an archive of the history of human stupidity must be preserved so that future survivors can learn from it. I suspect they will develop a strong ethic of planetary conservation because copious evidence of the misdeeds of previous generations will be strewn about everywhere, in the form of nonbiodegradable rubbish, toxic waste and abandoned concrete jungles.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

– PB Shelly


Will it be better for the Living Planet if human beings go extinct? The average human would probably say no. All the other untold millions of species, if they could answer, would probably say yes, good riddance to all humans, good riddance to bad rubbish. However they cannot answer, they lack our special cognitive abilities. Humans are also a species of animal on this planet and even though as a group we have messed up big time, do at least some less culpable humans not also have the same right as other species to exist? Do the best accomplishments of human culture and the scientific insights we have achieved (which no other species could have attained) not warrant preservation and perpetuation? Of course in a meaningless universe there is no “correct” answer to this question, merely one’s point of view. However on the basis of statistical probability I believe intelligent life in the universe is exceedingly rare and wise life is even rarer and if some humans survive this bottleneck and ultimately do achieve wisdom and learn to live sustainably within Nature, then humanity 2.0 will become a deserving species.

I agree with Godofredo Aravena that it will be necessary, now that we understand the pathogenesis of this godawful mess we created, to shape a framework of philosophy and code of behaviour for future humans to follow in order to avoid making the same mistakes. We need to ensure our policies are determined by evidence, reason and fairness to serve the long term common human good and planetary good. Perverse policies to favour a psychopathic few at the expense of the many (now being pursued in all capitalist countries today) must be rejected. It may be necessary to ensure the ruthless extirpation of psychopaths (who will always keep popping up, mutant like, from time to time) from future communities to prevent them from ever gaining power and driving humanity off the rails again.

We know this for certain: The moon landings would not have occured if the US had not pursued the Apollo project in a methodical and systematic manner to bring about success. When JFK made his declaration of intent, relying on as yet uninvented technologies, the likelihood of success within a decade seemed slim.

NTHE is certainly more likely if we make no concerted attempt to avoid it. My arguments outlined above show there is a nonzero chance that methodical and systematic planning may save a small number of people in the long term, using simple, basic technology. We do not need to invent anything new but we do need to conduct trials in various locations to see what works in practice. Project Ark should be attempted because it will be exceedingly stupid not to even try. Even if project Ark fails in the long run it will be worthwhile doing, if only to give a few young people a few extra decades of good quality life. Any attempt by the whiny naysayers to sabotage such a prospect for those young people will be simply mischevious.


Geoffrey Chia, June 2014



1) Here is a question specifically for Godofredo Aravena: in the absence of a benign benevolent billionaire to bankroll the Ark project, surely it will be possible for a few self organised community groups of far sighted Chileans to undertake similar survival projects on their own initiative, using their own resources?


2) A brief history of parasites

It has been estimated that the number of bacterial and parasitic cells on and in the human body outnumber our actual human cells by more than ten to one. Under normal circumstances many of these parasites extract nutrition from their host in a sustainable manner, not causing ill harm. Many of the bacteria on our skin and in our gut are in fact essential for our good health as they crowd out potentially pathogenic bacteria and in some cases even produce essential substances for us, such as vitamin K.


Organisms recently evolved to become parasites are the most lethal, because they have not yet learned how to live in harmony with their host. They frequently kill their host and therefore also themselves. For example, plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal human malarial parasite and can be regarded as being more poorly evolved than, say, vivax. Each time the plasmodium (and their antigens) are released into our bloodstream we develop a fever as our body tries to reject them. Given a few millenia the natural course would be for falciparum to evolve into a more benign form, as that would be in the interest of the parasite itself.


The planet now has a fever and will shed its load of pathogenic parasitic humans very soon. Whether a tiny fraction of those humans can survive the great dying and ultimately learn to live in harmony with the planet and evolve into non-pathogenic benign commensals is unknown.



3) *Glossary for NBL newbies:

EROEI = energy return on energy invested

GHGs = greenhouse gases

GIMME = Government, Industrial, Military, Media, Economic establishment

NBL = Nature Bats Last website

NTHE = near term human extinction

PETM = Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

POTUS = President of the Unhinged States (of America)

TPTB = the powers that be

WWOOFers = willing workers on organic farms


Here is another abbreviation I offer, which in future (actually, even now) will be applicable to shale or coal seam gas fracking, unconventional oil production and the keystone XL pipeline (and also to climate geoengineering attempts if it comes to that):

SLAGIATT = seemed like a good idea at the time


McPherson’s comment: I disagree with essentially nothing in Chia’s essay except the harsh tone and inappropriate attacks on other people. We can quibble about the details, but I’d rather not. I’d like to think we can carry out a civil discussion in this space, regardless how dire the topic.

Mature, intelligent critics attack ideas, not people. Immature people attack people instead of ideas. Unfortunately, immature people are like dead people and stupid people: They don’t know they have a problem, but the rest of us notice. For examples of the offenders, pay a visit to the Doomstead Diner or Chris Martenson’s latest, money-grubbing website. These attacks on me are rooted in ignorance of science and often include the perspective that McPherson is insane. If you’re inclined to respond in a manner McPherson views as immature, your comments will be removed and your time commenting in this space will be short.


Find and join the Near-Term Human Extinction Support Group on Facebook here


If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. Include the online moniker you’d like to use in this space. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.


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 three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 148

  • Hahahaha, well, from a mountain in Wales, where I have a glorious and fulfilling life which I would not swap for any other.

    What a rubbish scenario. It fails to mention the radio active fallout. It fails to mention that any likely survivable locations will already be taken by billionairre Bond villain types who will make very certain that no rabble get anywhere near their refuges.

    Chia likes to make up pie in the sky fantasies. I like to enjoy the remaining reality that actually exists. I’m fortunate that I will not have to see what happens. Anyone who wants to endure such horror, willingly, must be suffering some sort of psychosis, imo.

  • You’re right about this being long….

    Curious about this line:
    “My major critique of some of the NBL hangers-on are their anonymous repetitive useless miserable whining and the idea that humanity should go extinct since they assert all humans are irredeemably corrupt and destructive.”

    I’m here a good deal of time, reading and remarking, and I honestly don’t recall any ‘miserable whining’ but eyes of the beholder, etc etc. Some examples of what you mean would be helpful, otherwise this is just included to elicit a response and serves no purpose.

    Later on you go into length on your dislike of the WACKOS, but fail to mention anyone. Why? You’ve been here. Name names. Point fingers. Declare the line in sand. Fight it out in the forum. Take no prisoners. Prove yourself their moral superior and intellectual champion.

    But here’s a whooper: “The PETM was not regarded as a major global mass extinction, but a lesser extinction event.”

    Is that like a slight case of death? You’re missing that the speed in which the planet is warming now is faster than PETM, you also totally ignore that any disruption of civilizations leaves over 400 nuclear power planets to meltdown. Just to be clear: if food runs out and governments collapse, workers at nuclear power plants aren’t going to show up to keep things going out of the goodness of their hearts. At the same token, as water and food run out, people aren’t going to be respecting borders because they have always respected them unquestioningly before (they did, right?) and some of those people might be organized armies.

    Will there be some pockets of people who don’t die within the first and second waves of collapse? Most likely. Will they be able to continue to survive as the nuclear power plants meltdown, the seas continue to rise with the heat and crops and livestock die? Doubtful.

    What’s known about Terria del Fuego? Their abundant crops and farmland does not leap to mind.

    You also insist that activism must be given a chance. Of course it must. Apparently you missed the various calls for monkey wrenching, culture jamming and other forms of activism because it doesn’t fit the WACKO narrative you fell in love with. Fighting the Empire is all that is really left, even though we know we will lose. More than once Chris Hedges line has been quoted: “I do not fight the fascist because I will win, I fight them because they are fascist.”

    The objection raised by many on various technological fixes to climate chaos is that technological fixes can’t work. You cannot build a machine that will suck up CO2 at a rate fast enough to matter. What you can do is stop machines from releasing more CO2. A quick look at various world governments shows the likelihood of that happening. By all means fight against the machine. By all means plot your escape to wherever. This blog is more about acceptance of one’s mortality and how to live out our remaining days.
    You think that’s easy? Knowing you and everyone you know and love has been murder is not a walk in the park. Lots of rage to deal with before finding whatever it is that keeps a person from going on a murder suicide spree.

    Guy’s talks always end with a message of “live a life of excellence.” That’s the core of this whole thing. It’s not about death and survivalism and the end of the world. It’s about life.

  • Sorry, Geoffrey, but I have to agree with ulvfugl, who expressed exactly my concerns about this plan. My guess is that the plan would be more likely to succeed if the young people chosen to participate had lots of expertise in guerilla warfare, with a touch of psychopathy, or at least sociopathy. Otherwise they will be destroyed by those billionaires who are just itching to get at the remains of the dead dinosaurs in Antarctica as soon as the weather there is conducive to drilling. In addition to the radioactivity from all the nuclear reactors that won’t be shut down properly, there’s the atmosphere poisoned by methane and hydrogen sulfide that you will have to contend with. I have no problem with people attempting something like this; you might be right that there’s a chance it could prevent complete extinction, and it’s something to do for those who feel the need to do something. But so far I have not seen a plan that is not laughably optimistic, and I am way too old to give up what’s left of the rest of my life to get involved in what amounts to a Hail Mary pass. Oh, and, by the way, there are already people living in Tierra del Fuego, and there is already oil and natural gas extraction going on there. Why not let the people there be the ones to try to survive instead of invading their space? What makes your crew more deserving?

  • Personally, I think humans do deserve to go extinct if it is the only way to salvage this planet as a living organism fit for continued species of plants and animals, etc. The natural world outside the human race does deserve to survive us, IMO. But, it shouldn’t require our complete and total extinction for the planet to survive, and yet nature might not wish to invite a repeat. Maybe we had our chance and will be deselected for all time for blowing that chance to be good stewards of the planet.

  • Very long passage to read sitting in front od a computer as you vision becomes blurred. Lots of criticism of wackos. “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”
    ― Noam Chomsky
    The idea that you set up camp for a few humans down in Chile smacks of fascism since how are these people selected? If people have all day to read about the environment good on them, it’s their lives they can spend it how they like! If they do not pay taxes or be a victim of zero hour contracts with Amazon that you appear to infer a greater use of a persons life, let them! If they are on the dole and learn about the world that interests them and interpret it in a way not to your liking- to bad! Look at the giant subsidies the Pentagon give out one their trillion dollar budget! In Switzerland they have a basic income and you can do as you wish, you can add to it by also working, or doing artistic work, support others such as the disabled or the elderly, or attempt to live in an alternative way such as in communes! Corporations are a form of tyranny, the current laws are a form of feudalism. – – “I start with the supposition that the world is topsy turvy… that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail. ”
    “That the wealth is distributed … in such a way as not simply to require small reform, but a drastic reallocation of wealth.”
    “If you don’t think if you just listen to tv and read scholarly thing… you’ll begin to think that things are not so bad… or that just little things are wrong.
    “You have to get a little detached and then come back and look at the world, and you are horrified.”
    “Civil disobedience … that is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.”
    “Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their gov and have gone to war. Millions have been killed because of this obedience.”
    “The rule of law has regularized and maximized the injustice that existed before the rule of Law… When in all the nations of the world is the darling of the leaders and the plague of the people.
    “We have to transcend these national boundaries in our thinking. ”
    Howard Zinn.

  • May I introduce you to the vocabulary word: ecologically extinct.
    If you knew this term I think you may have saved yourself a lot of time and effort put into this essay. Its a moot point whether a handful of humans survive collapse and no one should really spend much time thinking about it….why?
    a. odds are you will NOT be one of the survivors, and b. you will not WANT to be one of the survivors.

  • Speciesism to the end. We breed into existence and torture and murder more nonhman animals in 4 days than all humans killed in murders, genocides, plagues and wars throughout human history, but every time I read a blog about this issue, this aspect is completely ignored. Nonhumans in the “wild” are not the only nonhumans who we oppress, exploit and murder. We currently breed into existence 56 billion land animals each year to torture and murder mostly for our taste buds, and since we can easily meet our nutrition needs from plants (and other non-animal sources this is “unnecessary” and morally unjustifiable. One to three trillion aquatic animals suffer the same fate, tortured and murdered for food. But it would seem this animal use is so normal to us, that it is not mentioned, viewed as irrelevant and as acceptable. This inability for even those few of us who understand that our time is up as a species, to admit or entertain the idea that exploiting animals for food, clothing, entertainment or other reasons is morally unjustifiable and admit that we need to be vegan, is in itself evidence that we as a species need to go and never appear again.

  • Gosh, is this troll-bait?

    Geoffrey, is it not the case that Guy has expressed regret at giving up his tenured professorship? If so, that is far worse than his expressed regret at chucking everything to live in a mud hut in the hope that it would make a difference — to his conscience, if nothing else. It means he is ready and willing to renegotiate with Empire in return for a warm seat at the table. That’s beyond hypocrisy.

    I won’t get too exercised about this article, Geoffrey. It’s just more hierarchy-worshiping fodder. First you genuflect to Guy (your “Dr. McPherson” is a giveaway), then you kick the proles in the time-honoured way of the sycophant.

    BTW, Shelley was a bounder and a cad.

  • Mr. Chia, I read your rather long essay in its entirety. (I wonder how many others will do so.) It was a cool breeze wafting over our beach of doom. Even though I agree somewhat with Ulvugl about the fanciful nature of your ideas, I have never been able to quite close the gap between full acceptance of Guy’s position and my own gut feeling that somehow this doesn’t mean the end of humanity. Whenever someone asks me if I accept the notion of NTHE I answer with forefinger and thumb about one inch apart. I believe that you capture in rational, logical argument what many of us have felt all along in our heart of hearts. (That doesn’t mean that we are right of course.)

    However, this does not mean that I agree with you 100%. It would be improbable that I would. I depart from the articulated ideas above in that that they seem to rest on a scientific materialist base. I believe that scientific materialism does not adequately describe reality. Also, I don’t see evolution in general the way you have presented it.

    I also think that you aren’t quite getting what some of the so called ‘whiners’ are saying. But, just as 99.9% of humanity won’t make it, a like number won’t make the transition to reality. We don’t have much time left no matter what you believe is the right road into the future. I am conflicted myself. I wake up in the morning and can’t wait to get outside and “do” something. Then I wake up the next morning and say, “What’s the use? It’s all for nothing.”

    I commend you for spending the time, energy and focused thought which it took to arrive at your conclusions. Just remember those ideas, like life is a process constantly evolving. I have reversed my own position on various ideas several times as I continue to gain knowledge and (hopefully) a bit of wisdom.

    You are a big boy. You can take and learn from constructive criticism. The pointless attacks just make your metaphorical skin tougher. What higher goal is there but to attempt a life of excellence?

  • Guy, this chap is incredibly informative. I have changed my mind.Especially the part where he insults, those are convincing jibes. I wonder, is there any room left under the rock he crawled out of?

  • Martin says: “It means he is ready and willing to renegotiate with Empire in return for a warm seat at the table. That’s beyond hypocrisy.”

    And what are you doing, Martin? I explained why it was a mistake: The mud hut is a catastrophic failure, and I could’ve been teaching this whole time. I’d teach for no pay. In fact, I do. Explain how this is hypocrisy.

  • I am doing what you advise, Guy. Pursuing excellence, and rather liking my life and even myself for a change as a result.

  • Since I was specifically mentioned, I will respond.

    Everything you said about the “wackos” is true for me. My personal life has ended up hopeless, desolate, powerless and miserable, crushed by repeated disappointments. I was a successful player in the economy for many years – nice house, nice car, nice clothes and nice vacations. Then I began searching for why none of it felt right. I began my education in DOOM around 2006/2007 and eventually found NBL. I came to the conclusion that my participation in IC and the untold suffering of other living things was unconscionable – and I began to disengage. I personally believe that civilization is what killed us – planting crops and building cities was the beginning of the end. We should live like animals – sapience be damned – eating only what falls from the trees – killing nothing.

    NBL saved me from a life of pointless consumerism. But, there’s a downside – my house is currently in foreclosure, my bankruptcy will be filed within the next week, I voluntarily surrendered my financed vehicle, and I live on food stamps. I know it’s not the perfect solution, but it’s all I can do for now.

    Still, I’m not here to beat anybody up – and I very much dislike it when others attack others. When I scoff at the hopium dealers, it’s just to state my position.

    Yes, I repeatedly mention the Voluntary Extinction Movement and the Church of Euthanasia. I’m NOT telling anyone to kill themselves – I’m just calling attention to two organizations that I think people should know about – for people that happen upon this site, that’s why I repeat it every time I post.

    I also believe that nothing matters anyway – in the end, none of this will be remembered. We are just renting our subatomic particles for a brief moment of time. Eventually, our subatomic particles will be widely scattered across the cold, dark, expanse of space. So, who cares?

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • Geoffrey, most all of humanity is going to try its hardest to survive any and all situations it finds itself in going forward. No food? Pick up a gun and see what your neighbor has. No water? Drink whatever else is available until you find some. Too hot? Stay inside or underground until nightfall when it’s time to go “shopping” for what you and yours need. Competition? You bet, for every last crumb and sip. Got guns? You may need ’em. Cooperation? Maybe for MS-13 members, some in the military. Few others.

    Beyond that we get to Medicine? Dentistry? Psychiatry? What kind of world will come after there’s too little for too many and that runs its course? It looks like chaos and anarchy, violence and brutality – you know, the reversion to the “mean” in humanity.

    I don’t want any parts of it. Once the chaos begins in earnest, the lights go out for good, disease is running rampant and man-made radiation becomes a major contributor to the death rate, or WWWIII starts, i’m ready for Ruppert’s Way, if i’m not wiped out first by one of my neighbors or an invading hoard from town.

    Like in a tsunami or sinkhole, it’s likely I won’t have any choice or say in the matter (and neither will anyone else).

    It’s already noticeably worse every day, if you’re looking, otherwise there’s nothing to worry about, it’s all going ahead as planned.

  • “better than that of an NBL cowardly anonymous whiner”

    You mentioned anonymity in you writing over and over again,in a disparaging way.

    Do you think that if someone, who is in all probability half way around the world from you,refers to themselves as “Jim Smith” instead of “Dog Dancer” that they are any less anonymous to you in any meaningful way?

  • @ thestormcrow

    Funny you mentioned that – I have often thought it would be helpful if everyone had a bio on file so we could know more about each person. I’d really like to know more details about some of the regulars…

  • Whew, life’s too short for so many words, Chia. I read some of it, scanned the rest, trying all the while to figure out “What’s your point?”

    What I get is, that with the exception of the part about your ark project, the whole essay was a critique of both Guy, this site, and those who post here. You want free speech censored only by your definition of ‘responsibility’, which you failed to mention exactly what that is, throwing a lot of words around without an adequate definition of terms.

    Like Grant pointed out, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s being said here regarding resistance, activism, and other ways of dealing with The Situation.
    And like Michael Dean pointed out, your judge-mental attitude about those here who are not working in the belly of the beast for Whatever reason, is So Dominate Paradigm that it’s almost laughable. These people should be applauded for their lifestyles and sacrifices, and for being less a part of The Problem, and their contributions here are invaluable.

    Bottom line, you have problems with this site and want things done your way. Okay, go create your own and have it just the way you want it, with only your ‘responsible’ posters adding comments.

  • Dear NBL family, sing with me an ode to Little Chia man;

    Guy, could be the NBL theme song? 😉

  • ps – There are Reasons that some here need the protection of anonymity. I shouldn’t have to go into any detail- it is a catch22 situation as well as The Principle of the thing. You can require that the posters on your own site use their real names and post their bios. Fine with me.

  • I found the entire “essay” (hit piece) to be arrogant and pretentious. Not to mention snobby and childish.

    I cannot have any respect for an author, nor take them seriously, when instead of facts being argued, derogatory acronyms are invented and used as labels for those the author does not personally like.

    I am disappointed that this is the article posted for this 3 day period on NBL.

  • One BBB is way ahead of you. Perhaps you might talk to him. My guess is that he is fairly up to speed on all these issues.

  • Solid write-up, though I do have some quibbles, particularly with your view of the doomer hangers-on and their motivations. It seems your view is based on the principle that humans are superior animals to those who “failed” before them, that they can somehow see their way clear, and that intelligence–as we define it and ascribe it to ourselves–has long term value that will delay or even prevent what has happened to every other species before us. I cannot speak for the scanners darkly, but I believe those things need to be at least addressed before that nihilist view is described as “useless”. We are clever creatures, sure, but I think the evidence is in, and we are not THAT clever. Which begs the question: why are we here and what should we do about it?

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve come to the conclusion that “we are the asteroid”, that we are the agents of entropy, and we literally cannot help ourselves because that is our purpose. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. (And, yes, I know Buddhism is of value, as is Beethoven’s 9th, and a host of other human pursuits, but those seem to be a side-line to what we collectively do best.) I am not miserable because of that realization (though my hate for elephant poachers still burns brightly, if more diffusely, on a wider range of humanity than before), but I’m kind of sad about it. Carolyn Baker’s writings have helped with this, and now I’m just trying not to be an asshole as this thing plays itself out.

    Asking the question “what is to be done?” is barking up the wrong tree at this late date. Your “billionaire ark” is a quaint idea because regardless of how well the folks are vetted, you cannot guarantee weitiko won’t appear in the NEXT generation–just as it did before, across all peoples at some time in history. The measures to contain it in the past will be used again, and there won’t be fossil fuels to spread it around as widely, but it will be there because that’s part of what we are. Only by evolving can this quality be excised, and then we are talking about a whole other species, one that should look back on civilized man in horror.

  • Why do we need to know peoples identities and credentials? Seems like that would lead to prejudging someones ideas before we even read them. Kinda makes the whole idea of the internet as a place where regular people have a platform meaningless. For example, even though I have been 99.9% drug and alcohol free for more that 15 years, the stigma still remains. Once a drunk always a drunk etc etc. Of course NBL has a bunch of struggling malcontents, this is the last place we have. Unlike people with a string of letters after their name, when working people “speak truth to power” we get fired and shunned. BTW even Mature, intelligent critics attack people. They may not do it as much and they are more subtle, but everyone does it. You just did it in an essay format, Dr G.

  • ok, I blasted off on a long and rather mean-spirited response to this essay, but in sympathy with pat I am going to hold my fire, and lay off the attack completely.

    pat, I send my deepest regards to you and your cat. thank you for being you.

    Guy, please do not change anything about your site based on anything stated in this essay. imo, that would be a terrible mistake. thank you again for everything you have created with NBL. it is righteously perfect.

  • All it takes to avoid NTHE is for a few breeding pairs to survive in just one location in the long term.

    A few thousand breeding pairs might make for a much better chance.

    Based on the nuke radiation so often mentioned here, but not in your essay, a few breeding pairs would need the sort of luck it would take for a roulette player to hit the green slot a half a dozen times with an initial $1 bet.

    In the absence of a benevolent billionaire who isn’t involved with privatizing space exploration, you might take a $1 bill to Vegas.

    Before you scoff at the space version of survival, note that humans don’t need to be alive for the journey, nor even for the landing if/when a suitable planet is encountered. Don’t even need humans as pilots. And this is a variant of how Francis Crick and a buncha other relatively smart folks think that we got here.

    Many are burdened by outrageous student debts – which are immediately paid off by BBB.

    I think any benevolent billionaire you find would tell you/them to just stop making payments to the Banksters. No reason to waste precious financial resources on paying off financiers when you could use them to create a more robust seed vault (as one example).


    “My real name is Tom Swift”, he said verisimilitudinously.
    All better now ?
    It’s the Internet, fer cryin’ out loud…

  • Grant Schreiber says: “This blog is more about acceptance of one’s mortality and how to live out our remaining days.”

    Stuck Inside Of Bargaining With Deniers’ Views Again

    Perhaps—who knows—possibly when
    Doom hits, we’ll survive even then—
    Oh mama, oh friend,
    Is this really the end,
    To be stuck inside Stage 3 again?

  • “Speciesism to the end. We breed into existence and torture and murder more nonhman animals in 4 days than all humans killed in murders, genocides, plagues and wars throughout human history, but every time I read a blog about this issue, this aspect is completely ignored.”

    Few realize that any development, any paving over, takes out wild species directly while also taking them out indirectly by destroying their habitats, small or large. We take it for granted that building, mining and other human affects to the land are normal and inconsequential. Which is why I believe we should draw the line where we are. Not even try to reduce our “footprint,” since that takes too much energy to do. Better, it seems, to stay put where we are. But no growth or expansion.

    “Nonhumans in the ‘wild’ are not the only nonhumans who we oppress, exploit and murder. We currently breed into existence 56 billion land animals each year to torture and murder mostly for our taste buds, and since we can easily meet our nutrition needs from plants (and other non-animal sources this is “unnecessary” and morally unjustifiable.”

    This is a harder issue. Food animals are not equipped to survive in the wild. So what would you propose for these sentient beings? The most I can figure right now is an extremely inadequate and unlikely set of “solutions”: Legislate more humane treatment of factory-farm animals (yes, it is possible to do here and there); greatly increase veganism or partial veganism; veer meat production toward sustainable and humane types programs and traditions; discourage transition toward IC consumption patterns; reduce the growth of human (and factory-farm animal)b population as much as feasible. Fat chance, but what would you recommend instead?

    “This inability for even those few of us who understand that our time is up as a species, to admit or entertain the idea that exploiting animals for food, clothing, entertainment or other reasons is morally unjustifiable and admit that we need to be vegan, is in itself evidence that we as a species need to go and never appear again.”

    If our time is up as species, it’s up. Not a damn thing I can do about it. Meanwhile, I don’t spend a millisecond thinking about it, while following my conscience as to what is best for me to do meanwhile. So I’ll repeat the mantra yet again. Since we’ve done everything wrong so far, we might as well try doing things right–as much as possible, doing no harm. Dumping excrement and other potential nutrients or poisons into the sea, harming marine life thereby is simply stupid. Even if it saves money on proper application, or diversion, or avoidance, of such things. There certainly are better ways to save money. Cutting off shark fins to delight the Asian idiots is beyond mention.

    But I agree with those who point out that the basic system behind all these wrongs is too far gone, too powerful, I also agree, as mentioned above, that we fight fascists, not because we can win, but because they are fascist. (I’m less personal about it, but that’s another matter.)

  • I haven’t commented here very much, but I’ve no doubt that Geoffrey would judge me a WACKO. NB, I’ve been called worse things, by better people.

    I care not at all whether he manages to con some Billionaire into coming to Jesus and giving up his plundering to organize a most holy crusade for the preservation of evolution’s finest achievement. I do hope someone will have the decency to warn the Fuegans that a swarm of Chia Pets (sorry, that must be the WACKO in me) may arrive at any time and put an end to their way of life (and probably to them).

    In his Super Magnum Opus, Chia brings up the Mongol Empire, for exactly what purpose I’m not quite sure. Their failure to establish, and stick to, rules for orderly succession does stick out. Isolated primitive peoples can be like that. Educated worldly peoples sometimes fail that test too. The Ukraine?

    He left out, as if totally unimportant, how the herdsman later to be known as Genghis Khan came to be Genghis Khan. In the time of his youth, the Mongols were divided into something like 22 tribes that tended to engage in proto-war over grazing areas. In one of these wars, his father was killed. As an adult he set himself on revenge. He clearly embraced the notion that revenge is a dish best served cold and liked it so much that he took to serving it often. Even to peoples that had never so much as heard of Mongols. His sons and grandsons continued the tradition until they were finally seduced into enjoying that which they had thoroughly despised. After Kublai Khan conquered the rest of China, lost 2 massive invasion fleets in typhoons off the shores of Japan and built the city now known as Beijing, the Mongols ended up right back where they started. The Japanese myth about why those fleets were destroyed led directly to the Kamikaze attacks on allied warships off Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

    I also call into question Chia’s contention that JFK pledged us to land on the moon before the things required to do it had been invented. That is a load of crap. As i recall it, the most highly touted “invention” spurred by the lunar missions was Tang. IMHO, it was really nothing more than Kool-Aid with more fruit and less sugar. There was a lot of scaling up of already existing technologies, which often required a good bit of ingenuity. Some of the technology used was actually quite old. One computer model I maintained was left over from WW-II. Many of the vacuum tubes we had in the spare parts bins bore stamps indicating they were made during the war.

    Chia asks if any of us have successfully predicted anything. I wonder if this counts. In less than three years of working in the space biz and well before the first moon landing I realized the space biz wasn’t really going anywhere. As my skills were in computing machines, I decided the computer biz was the place for me. I never much liked the computer biz, but it was the right choice.

    Do I have a point here? I confess to not being sure about that. I guess I’ll close with advise to all the twenty-somethings that aspire to live a life that Genghis would undoubtedly have killed them just for living it, to get on over to the Branson or Gates estate (or whoever Geoffrey manages to “persuade”) and get your name on the list. Get there early and often, using aliases. The losers that show up late won’t even get an interview. That’s life. Who knows, maybe one of your descendants might turn out to be the next Genghis Khan. All I would ask is that nobody be allowed to join the Chia Pets that might conceivably produce another Victoria Nuland. Even humanity deserves better than that.

  • Ah, dear, is this another version of the SUN project? I confess to not reading the entire essay. I often don’t, anymore. People seem to need to use as many words as possible to explain simple ideas….over consumption of the alphabet…we just can’t help it.

    I will echo others here and say that I do hope humans go extinct as quickly as possible as it is other species only hope forward.

    I plan to spend the remaining time available trying to help other critters survive; but I have no illusions.

    I won’t go quietly or docilely to any camps, but will exercise my final prerogative to rot where I drop, if at all possible.

    The denial goes very deep.

    I have also laughed out loud harder at this site than any others. This is a refuge for people when they get so sick of the bullshit that counts as discourse.

    Feel free to leave anytime, Geoffrey. Time is short, life is precious, why spend it being so irritated that you must spew so many words? Is that not WACKO?

  • P.S.- I forgot to use the word PARADIGM in my earlier post. Now, I’ve said everything.

  • First, I agree with ulvfugl – TPTB have way more money – guns – and supporters. They also have the best information and intelligence – and, they already have dibs on the good spots when TSHTF.

    Second, assembling community quickly leaves many questions unanswered. Even those who build community slowly over long periods of time have their difficulties. I think it’s probable that most of the “communities” that are thrown together because of a few shared ideas, will quickly devolve into chaos.
    Third, I’m suspicious of folk who want to save the world with their new plan. It will be hard to tell for some time which are sincere, and which are closet Jim Jones’.

    Then – the part most critics seem to misunderstand.

    Grant Schreiber says: — *Guy’s talks always end with a message of “live a life of excellence.” That’s the core of this whole thing. It’s not about death and ism and the end of the world. It’s about life.*

    Bob S. again: My son in laws father just died of lung cancer. He and his family spent his last months searching for the illusive cure — that one chance in a million he might survive a few more years. And all the while sick as a dog from chemo – so high he didn’t know who he was half the time. Try to survive – find a way. Quantity is all important – quality not so much. We must survive to kill another day. But I believe – the gold is here now. The future is disappointing.

  • This fucking wacko will personally seek out BBB (old white penised one) and kill him so maybe if there is any small ecological niches left that some of the more beautiful NON-human lifeforms may have a chance at a future. Why do you think humans are so important!?!? Humans = God,s greatest mistake. And again, and again, and yet again Humans enslave what is left of life on earth to their own selfish purposes.

  • Pat

    Thanks for telling us about you.
    I will not judge you, neither issue any opinion.
    But certainly, I will not agree with your view of the future
    Changes, come from the inside, there is no other way.
    Our life entirely rests in our decisions.
    What we are today is the result of our past decisions.
    Our personal future will depend on our future decisions.
    We always have, very much, the control.

    I agree with you, that using our names, so the others may know who we are, would be better.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your view.
    I basically agree with you perception and view.
    And certainly, we are a minority here.
    At the same time, it has to be said, that what you propose is a very basic proposal.
    The very rough concept, with a clear long term objective.
    But as everything begins with a basic idea, all we need to start something is that rough concept.
    The next step would be to develop an action plan.
    Many things have to be investigated , many mechanisms have to be developed (specially social), many things to be solved. And most of them, quite complex issues. A hell lot of work. Every step required faces new challenges, never seen before. But life is a challenge, and that is an inviting reason to do something.
    I have never liked easy things.
    In my career, several times, I have been required to design vessels to meet requirements that exceeded by far, what was the current and average performance. Always was possible to come up with a solution. That is why I believe that there are no such things as an impossible. Backed up by history. But a lot of work is required, and always the ride into the unknown will be rough. And along the way there will be time to enjoy the simple things of this lovely reality we live in.

    Instead of just sitting, I prefer to do something, not to try to change things, something totally out of my reach. Instead, I prefer to try to save somebody. Something more within my reach.
    Because, in any case, we are going to die. I prefer to use my remaining time, in something that may be useful to somebody.

    I am already working on something. But as there are too many things to consider, it will take a while, to come up with something.


  • You can catch my latest interview with Gary Null here. I start at the 33-minute mark.

  • Does Chia really think anyone writing here is exempt from the prying eyes of the corporate police state (NSA). They are making profiles of any possible future resisters for when the time comes that things really start getting rough. And like lierre kith ,jensen and many others Guy will be one of the first to be arrested as a threat to the state. The first people that get arrested in any corporate facsist crackdown are the intelligentsia.

  • I am grateful that G Chia is not running this blog. No ad hominem attacks please,then proceeds with a string of his own. Also,I think Guy would come into his definition of a wacko,being one of those who think that the evidence strongly suggests that human extinction in the near future is highly probable.

  • Life is full of interesting coincidences. One might even think there were some kind of ‘divine plan’ if one were that way inclined. A week ago I was counselling the owner of a dog that had bitten an elderly woman shortly before my arrival on the scene. It’s a long story which I will not go into great detail over. There was much confusion, lack of information, poor communication and much regret; a couple of days later, outside the library, I saw a woman who had been one of the counter staff at NPDC whom I had not seen for many months. I enquired whether she had left the organisation. She told me she had transferred to the dog control department, and filled me in with several details I was seeking.

    Okay, so now we have BBB. That is short for the book (Burn Baby Burn) I started writing 15 years ago and which was published in 2001, in which I suggested that, unless the crucial issues of the times were dealt with quickly, Southland (at the southern tip of the South Island, noted for cold, drizzly weather) would become a highly desirable place to live as everywhere else became too hot for comfort. As we all know, none of the issues of the times were dealt with; just ignored.

    The term Orc comes from Lord of the Rings, of course, and applies to those beings that see a tree and immediately want to chop it down to feed it into the furnace of industrialism, ravaging the planet, first used in that context by Ihaia Puketapu around 2004 as far as I know, and which I adopted.

    I believe New Zealanders have the highest skin cancer rate in the world for three reasons. One is that the skies tend to be very clear much of the time, another other is the insane outdoor lifestyle which includes spending much time at the beach exposed to the full blast of UV around midday, and the most critical is that the natural system for maintenance of O3 in the upper atmosphere has been messed up by industrial activity. The reason I raise this matter is that in BBB I wrote: ‘Anyone considering visiting Tierra del Fuego in the spring had better take plenty of sunscreen or only got out at night’.

    The ‘problem’ of ODS (ozone depleting substances) and the ‘ozone hole’ has not gone away. In fact Wiki says:

    ‘In 2014, researchers reported their discovery of another “hole”, an absence of atmospheric-cleansing hydroxyl throughout the entire depth of the troposphere across a large region of the tropical West Pacific. They suggest that this hole is permitting large quantities of ozone-degrading chemicals to reach the stratosphere, and that this may be significantly reinforcing ozone depletion in the polar regions with potential consequences for the climate of the Earth. [9]’

    Also the effect on ecology in regions close to Antarctica.


    So, as well as trying to deal with a collapsing ecology and unprecedented rises in temperature, anyone attempting to get through the third or fourth bottleneck is faced with dealing with extraordinarily high levels of very damaging radiation for much of the day.

    On the matter of potential temperature rises, we are mistaken to take the PETM as a benchmark (even though I have often mentioned the PETM) because the conditions that industrial activity have generated seem to be far worse that those that led to the PETM; much of the coal we have been burning over the past few centuries was formed in the Carboniferous era, and most of the oil was also formed long before 55 mya. Therefore, nature had semi-permanently sequestered a massive amount of carbon prior to the PETM. Contrast that to the present state of the planet, where much of that long-sequestered carbon has been put into the atmosphere and oceans, arguably raising the total amount of carbon available for heat trapping by a significant amount beyond that available 55 mya.

    All logical arguments indicate that what industrial humans have been doing over the past 250 or so years will have consequences far worst than the PETM.

    15 years ago I was in ‘hope’ mode. After banging my head against the walls of apathy, lies and corruption, and general insanity I am no longer in hope mode.

    I am not saying there is no hope, just that there seems to be very little for us or any other vertebrate species.

    As always, I welcome being proven wrong on anything I say or write.

    (There is some good news: there is now some snow on the mountain, so the meltdown is not this year).

  • A very comprehensive & well thought out essay & a nice idea @ Project Ark. However. I cannot see how humanity will be able to mutate fast enough to reproduce with the radioactivity in the air & water from the 450 nuclear plants on the surface if the planet having burned through when the grid goes down, releasing an unprecedented amount of radioactivity into the envelope of Earth’s atmosphere.
    I completely agree with the lack of patience with those who vehemently decry our species & wish we’d all just die.
    In my view that is silly, to be kind. When I first became aware of Guy’s work & began assessing our collective history, asking the question “When could we have stopped this train?”, I came to the personal answer that the answer is never.
    The snowball began gathering speed with the Industrial Revolution. The Earth was filled with things we learned how to extract & extrapolate, which led to more discoveries & an ease for civilized life that we had never experienced. How intoxicating. And we proceeded.
    Hindsight is not that helpful. It’s like looking back at bad decisions you made in your 20’s. from here we can look back & moan at our immaturity, callousness et al, but that’s who we were then. Nothing to be done about that now.
    Thanks for including Ozymandius. That poem has been deeply with me since the 6th grade & it’s poignancy grows with each day.
    Finally, I don’t find Guy a nihilistic navel gazer at all. He has, in my reading & viewing of him, great love & compassion for our human tribe & is simply delivering very dark but truthful news.
    Again, thanks for a well composed & extremely well articulated essay.

  • One thing that is clear to me, particularly after the “hero to zero” status of RE and Mike Lee, is that there seems remarkably few things[of any significance] a group of individual human beings can agree on.
    The bickering here ,which Wildwoman refers to as “horizontal hostility” on her blog, is both troubling and dispiriting to me.
    Maybe it’s my breeding; I am of both sides of those who hacked at each other in England’s bloodiest battle that ended the War of the Roses; but I find something of worth in what most have to say, even when they are “hacking” away at each other.
    I’ve been a doomer for a long time, but I’m trying to be one of those who’s around to see how the story ends.
    Opinions, no matter how forcefully expressed, remain just that ,right up until the end, when we may all find we were all wrong about EVERYTHING!
    In the meantime, I recommend less bickering and more solitude.

  • For clarity, I posted this comment on the bottom of Geoffrey Chia’s essay: I disagree with nothing in Chia’s essay. I’d like to think we can carry out a civil discussion in this space, regardless how dire the topic.

  • When I started reading your essay I didn’t expect to read it entirely given its length but I did. There’s something compelling there but I think the wheat needs to be separated from the chaff. I have a few thoughts (actually ones I’ve been collecting but this seems like an apropos time to post here):

    I think that we indeed do judge people but I don’t think it’s the right thing to do and when I do it I feel I’ve made a mistake. I think what should be exclusively judged are actions, events, ideas, etc. People are complex and temporal, so judging someone in a particular context doesn’t make it applicable in all contexts. So I think there’s little value in judging people even if they follow set patterns. Actions speak loudest about someone at a given moment. Even your essay where you claim you’re judging people can be rewritten to judge actions, events, ideas, etc.

    I think humans individually do try to do good so it’s interesting how collectively they mess things up. Part of the problem is that some of people trying to do good are ending up victims of Murphy’s Law, i.e., their actions have unintended consequences. I’ve come to accept (reluctantly) that there are people who are pursuing things in a destructive manner, focussed only on short term self-interests. The problem here are values focussed on money, particularly in the USA where it seems it has gotten worse in the last few decades. The more money one has, the more successful they appear to be. This pursuit of money at any cost is partly the reason we’re in this, and this is done by a small fraction of the population. I’m not sure what can or should be done about this. It seems so ingrained in so many people, that the more money you make, the better it is. Disabusing people of the notion that money is important seems difficult.

    I think you’ve nailed what I consider the fundamental question here: will any fraction of humanity survive? And I think people will try and your ideas may end up being one such attempt to get a few humans to survive (though I’m uncomfortable with some of the choices that would need to be made to make Project Ark work — this is why I avoid politics and power).

    As I’ve said many times, I think the timeline for NTHE is best evaluated by witnessing one of the major set of feedbacks as it goes through its adjustments: the Arctic system. The loss of summer ice is a leading indicator. If you look at the loss of ice in the Arctic, it was underpredicted relative to models from a couple of decades back. Right now it looks like the best fit is an exponential trend or a Gompertz fit for all years but a linear fit also works for the last few decades. Will ALL the summer ice go away by 2016? 2020? Or will there still be ice left in 2030 in the summer? Rather than make educated guesses about what will happen to entire Earth system as a result of examining all feedbacks in one’s mind, for me the “wait and see” approach is what works in this case. If it takes more than a decade for ALL the summer ice in the Arctic to disappear the feedbacks aren’t working in absolutely exponential manner.

    I think the Limits to Growth dynamical systems modelling is very good and it gives us an indicator of the quality of life we’ll have depending on when we react to the oncoming catastrophe (which I agree it most definitely is).

    Regarding the timeline for the carbon release that occurred during the PETM happening in as little as 13 years, I started a thread in another section of this forum and I posted some rebuttals. I think this work needs to be repeated independently and accepted before we can start taking it for granted. It would represent an ominous sign if it turned out to be basically correct.

    I do like the way this forum is done. On my own website, I don’t allow people to contribute except in rare cases but if I did have a forum I’d hope it’d be run like this, ideally even more extreme. I think speech we dislike represent the speech we need to protect most. I’m an extremist about most things, including free speech.

    Finally, I myself don’t think much of credentials but I advocate my mentees get theirs since it opens doors, as indicated in a discussion Guy and Paul Beckwith had (where he said he went back to get his PhD). I don’t think this is the way things should work. The only thing that should matter is the logic of one’s arguments. That said, I think some of the cultural frameworks used in academia as well as in the free software/music/information world are among the best humanity has developed. There’s less emphasis on money (though it is not entirely absent, especially in this tech age where academics are also asked to become entrepreneurs). More emphasis on merit. I would keep the baby here.


  • It looks like chaos and anarchy,

    Diametrically opposed concepts. The latter eschews violent coercion, whether by local thugs, petty warlords organised mafia, or the state.

    I believe New Zealanders have the highest skin cancer rate in the world for three reasons.

    A fourth reason: the paucity of melanin, when compared to the pre-New Zealand natives. Perhaps a good reason for Herr BBB to restrict selection to coloured folks for the Ark project.

    The headquarters for the project should be in Colorado. Carolyn Baker at hand, and they can do their planning while smoking the good stuff. Or perhaps Colombia: better stuff, greater proximity to the action – but the stuff might be illegal there, and Carolyn Baker ain’t quite so close by.

  • Just to be clear about my comment above,I am also part of that definition of a whacko.

  • Robin, by better stuff do you mean stuff that keeps you awake for long hours (as will be needed for the Ark project) or stuff that mellows you out?

  • If a magical being gave a button to me

    And said “Push it and you’ll end all Humanity”

    I’d push it

    In an instant

    With no regrets

    Save maybe one

    That I wouldn’t get to see the morning sun

    Shine on a world

    That was set free

  • I think it’s time I went out to the back forty to feed the unicorns. if I give them some dinner, they’ll share their weed with me.

    they’ve got the best ganja… wicked stuff – helps us all get down for the longs hours of civil yet dire discussion about the end of the thriving biosphere on Earth, and how humans are going to come through at the end and save us all – or at least a few other well-deserving humans. seriously! it all makes a lot more sense when you have the right weed. just take a nice big toke, and that’ll get the ball of necessary perspective rolling.

    (but I mean, we *are* realistic. we know arks can’t be that big – it’s just the way the NTE crumbles. but don’t worry, we’ll be way too stoned to notice.)

    man, though, the unicorns can really talk up a storm once they are whacked out gonzo. funny thing, their dealer is actually a BBB! that kind of benevolence really is something.

    hey, unicorns! I’m coming man! don’t start without me!

  • I see a minimum of merit in Mr. Chia’s rant. but I’m flummoxed as to why Guy says he supports Chia’s positions. First off, Guy asks us not to attack the individuals, rather the ideas, yet Mr. Chia lards his polemic with an inordinate amount of gratuitous offense. Guy posits NTHE, and those who agree with him are WACKOs???

    Guy, I am really perplexed as to how you can posit NTHE, and yet support Chia’s call for absurd measures little different from those of RE. I see both individuals as immature, grasping. I find it hard to reconcile Guy’s instructions to be respectful and kind with this posting.

    Here’s only a sampling of my response, because, really, I could go at it all day.

    Chia: “why do they insist NTHE was always inevitable, written in stone?”

    Because the extinction of every species is inevitable.

    “What purpose does their ideology serve?”

    It’s not an “ideology which serves a purpose”. It’s a recognition. Only those who assume everything to be political would shoehorn NTE into an “ideology”.

    “By arguing that there never was any hope, they exonerate themselves for never having done anything worthwhile in their useless lives to fight for sustainability and try to avoid collapse and extinction.”

    Because there never was anything TO do.
    Each extra mouth to feed, including Mr. Chia’s, is an extra mouth to feed. That’s it. No judgment, just numbers. There is no avoidance of collapse and extinction.

    “Those anonymous cowards can then elevate themselves to an equal level as brave reformers who have dedicated their lives to sustainability.”

    But “brave reformers” (such as Mr.Chia?) haven’t “dedicated their lives to sustainability”, in large part, have they?. If a person had done, he/she would not be typing on a keyboard connected to the Internet. Rather, we all accrete power to ourselves, as is inevitable.

    The”anonymous coward” epithet really wears thin. WHO exactly here pretends to ELEVATE themselves? I don’t see this, except among the “challengers” like you and RE who have the temerity (offered by the distance of the internet) to call people they have never met “cowards”. That’s “elevation”, alright, and it’s totally unwarranted.

    I don’t pretend to elevate, or lower, myself to any pre-conceived “level”.. Mercy, this post is fodder for a hundred pages of response!

    What I see is that: those for whom their own death is an impossible construct, well… they are going to have a hard time. And for those who find the extinction of the human species an impossible construct, well, they are going to have a doubly-hard time.

    I think the thing I find most mysterious is how certain folks create a fetish around, say, 100 or 1000 people surviving for [some uncertain period] into the future. As though they have a personal investment in this outcome. I personally am not able to project an investment into an outcome of that kind. It leaves me cold.

    I guess that makes me a WACKO.

    For the record, Mr. Chia, I spent 4 years at MIT studying biology, at which point I abandoned that pursuit as incoherent as proposed by that institution. It’s INTUITIVELY OBVIOUS to me the way things will play out, in general. It does not involve sailing ships..

    Sailing ships require construction materials and sails. Modern sails are currently made of high-tech oil-based synthetics by industrial civilization; during the Golden Age of Sail, there were enormous supplies of hemp cloth and rope works which do not exist today and will not exist in the future.

    A phrase by Nicole Foss has stuck with me (paraphrasing) to the effect that, with every advancement up the technological ladder we have kicked out the rung below. The infrastructure for sail, for horse conduction, just does not exist, and won’t, because the resources just aren’t there to dedicate several acres/horse, or many many acres for the hemp to supply the rope for a single ship.

    All of your plans, and RE’s dome plans, are just pie in the sky.

    NBL is a place where people have had enough pie. We’re sick of pie, and we want meat.

    You may find other sites more to your liking… I really don’t understand the need to come here and bash the denizens. I certainly don’t bother to visit sites where they talk about the Singularity, or the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and trash their views. Who has the time? It’s not worth it.

  • @ pat

    Well said

    @ Eddie

    Thanks for that video, it was interesting.


    Well, I just re-read this essay.

    A second take did nothing to improve my view of Chia. It’s trivial, silly JUNK. He’s still got an awful long way to fall before he starts to meet reality, let alone becomes a ‘mature’ individual capable of attacking ideas rather than individuals, hahahaha…

    Not that I object to attacking individuals, personally, or being attacked.

    I mean, calling someone ‘immature’, is already an attack. Attack and defence are part of martial arts in the physical domain, and also in the rhetorical domain.

    It’s a shame Chia doesn’t come up with anything I can find really challenging and interesting and substantial to fight against, it’d be a lot more stimulating. I mean, ffs, he tries to smear me for living ‘on the dole’ and being a WACKO. I don’t live ‘on the dole’, but what if I did ? So what ?

    Am I suppose to look UP to you, Chia, because you are NOT on the dole ?
    Do you think you are in some way my superior, because you receive more MONEY ?

    You see, I don’t evaluate people that way.

    And being a WACKO. What the fuck does he want me to do, conform to the norm ? Be like HIM ? Be like everyone ELSE ? Join in the madness ? Consume, vote, watch tv, own a car.

    And he whines about people being anonymous. What childish crap is that. I speak to the whole world on this blog, as if I was talking to someone I just met walking on the lane. People can read all about me on my blog. Detail of my opinions and lifestyle, fwtw, all freely available. I don’t get into much detail about my sex life or hygeine, you’ll have to work that out in your imagination, Chia.


    Now, look at this

    By technology I mean the ability to dig into hillsides to survive, surrounded by the protection of thermal mass, even as the exterior wetbulb daytime summer temperature exceeds human body temperature. By technology I mean the ability to construct massive stonewall windbreaks to shelter crops against the prevailing winds in the latitudes of the furious fifties or higher. By technology I mean the ability to take advantage of the long hours of summer sunlight in high latitudes to grow excess grain, then to store that grain for rationed consumption during the neverending night of winter in those high latitudes, perhaps even to survive on Antarctica after the ice has melted there. Such measures cannot be scaled up to save billions or even millions of people, but conceiveably may be employed to enable the survival of a a small number people in small favourable locations. All it takes to avoid NTHE is for a few breeding pairs to survive in just one location in the long term.

    Have you ever tried to grow anything in your life, Chia ? Doesn’t sound like it.

    Sure. Assume a few score, or hundreds, manage to do that, in some remote place.

    Where do they get the grain ? It has to be the right variety, doesn’t it. Where they going to find that ?

    Where do they get the tools to sow it, and to harvest it ?

    How do they make the grain into some form they can digest ?

    How do they store it so that it does not go mouldy or get eaten by mice or beetles ?

    They are going to have to be remarkable people, with all the knowledge to do this.

    Let’s assume they have it.

    Against all the odds, they have dug themselves into a hillside, built stone sheltering windbreaks to protect patches of fertile soil, found varieties of wheat or oats or barley which will grow, despite the dark, wet, or whatever. They have some sort of tools to till the soil and harvest the seeds and somehow make bread of some kind, and save some seed to the next season.

    So you have these ‘breeding pairs’ – very odd how the vocabulary changes and ‘they’ stop being men and women, isn’t it. Weird. – and they survive for five years.

    This is despite the radioactive fallout, and the anoxic oceans giving off toxic gases, and whatever other horrors that beset them.

    Any farmer or gardener knows, that even under optimal conditions, you’ll lose a crop. I had wonderful strawberries. I looked at them in the evening, thinking ‘Tomorrow I’ll eat those’. In the morning I went there and a badger had eaten them all. If it’s not a fucking badger it’ll be weevils or pigeons or slugs or aphids or some obscure black mold that shrivels everything up.

    Or, it’ll be the climate chaos. Just as the crop ripens, instead of nice dry weather, you’ll get six weeks of deep snow, from nowhere, in mid summer.

    These people are going to lose an annual crop. With their seed corn.
    That has ALWAYS happened, since the Neolithic began. You know, potato blight. Then what ?

    And it’s not like this is a five year tunnel through the bottleneck.

    According to Tad Patzek, the climate chaos does not re-stabilize for 80 – 100,000 years. The global ecology will not recover from the extinction event for 10 – 15 million years.

    So, these people would have to keep this going for tens of thousands of years, never missing a year when they didn’t make enough babies, and there’s no way they could do what we did last time. Because all the resources, the easy to find ore, the animals, everything we exploited, will have gone, just a toxic radioactive wasteland in its place.

    So all this bullshit about ‘hope’ is just childish nonsense for people who cannot accept the reality of the situation and want to live in fantasies.

    I’m not saying that there is anything WRONG with trying to survive by learning how to grow crops, and so on. If that’s what you really want to do, than why not ?

    It takes a life time to learn to be a good gardener, there’s never an end to it. I’d extend that to horticulture, even ‘proper’ farming. You never stop learning. Everything that can go wrong WILL go wrong, even when things were favourable and we had a good climate.

    So you don’t do it because of ‘hope’ or with any ‘expectation’, you just DO IT, because it’s what you love, or because it’s what you believe is the only right thing to do each day.

    And you do it for GOD, or you do it for some other vague spiritual quest. Not because you expect to gain anything. Because if you expect anything you are going to be constantly hurt and disappointed and live in anxiety and worry. You have to let go and trust the Tao. Ask the Hopi, for example. They understand this. Growing maize for thousands of years.

    Of course, Chia is a hard line materialist who hasn’t got a clue about any inner life at all, so it’s going to be so much more difficult for him. Impossible, really. He’ll have to think that he’s achieving something, getting somewhere, showing the way forward. He’s just the sort of loon that caused this disaster, really. A victim of the belief system that has brought this catastrophe upon us all.

    But he’s convinced himself he’s not a WACKO, so that must make him feel better.

  • I love you, Guy. Because it was your voice that cried out “The Emporer has no clothes!”

    I love you Ulvfugi. Because you sit on a mountaintop on an island of kings who were bards and you echo the voices of a people who sang through defeats and despair carrying their poetry through shafts of mines and armies of despots even as some became the conquerors, some the victims and all reversing back and forth through the ages.

    I love you, Pat. I love your cat. I love Dr. Suess and pray that the child in us will never be lost.

    I love the ground we walk on and the air we breathe. I love the Creator God and his Son Jesus Christ and the prophet Mohammed and all the saints and holy people of all the faiths who recognized that we are not alone on this rock and there is more than what we can see and feel and touch and has ever been so through all the ages, all those millenia before organized agriculture and organized heirachy of religious and rulers and dynasties there was always the earth and the many different feet that slithered or crept or crawled or flew above it or burroughed beneath its surface. That maybe we have been here before,many times before and we feel the pull of its gravity and no, if the earth dies, then we shall die with it.

    But we do not know if this is the time come for dying, if, like in the past, life will stay hidden in the rubble and emerge and grow and separate into different forms that we cannot imagine. Only that it is not up to us to declare the end. No, if there is only the faintest whisper of a chance, no matter how rough the terrain, we, all of life, has been endowed with an inner drive for survival and we will answer that urge no matter what protests we make today – some will falter, but we will carry on until it becomes impossible to do so and then we will stop.

  • Dear Chia,

    Now that it is clear to me that I am a cowardly, anonymous, hanger-on, I want you to have my deepest apology for what I wrote earlier:
    “I am indeed sorry that you are a worm that lives under a rock.”

    Please excuse me now while I go and pray for death.

  • Humans deserve to be extinct. Period

    After 10,000+ years of ‘civilization’ humans have consistently allowed psychopaths, creatures with absolutely no empathy or conscience whatsoever towards anything or anybody, flora, fauna or humanoid, to always rise to positions of power.

    That is why humans deserve extinction. The inability over thousands of years to stop the small sliver of perennially reoccurring psychopaths in our midst is the core reason h s sapiens needs to STFU and die off ASAP.

    The childish perverse grasping and groping of strawman by Chia Pet is a perfect example of the maglomaniacal deep desire of humans to DOMINATE the earth FOREVER.

    As if the ‘thousand breeding pairs’ (TBPs) of semi-human survivors that slide through the Ecopocalypse will not just rinse lather blather and repeat the exact same pattern of the last 10,000 years.

    Spare us the huckster sales pitch Chia Pet that it’s not to late to be good humans. hahahah

    I hate to ‘harsh your mellow’, but the “Chosen Ones of the Holy Longneck Bottle Neck” will contain an over average percentage of Psychopaths, even higher than the current normal background level of 1-3%. More like the estimates for corporations at 10%+. They will clusterfuckup the next iteration if they are allowed to survive as sure as the day follows the night.

    Your Ark project of humans Chia Pet will resemble a cyclone of Scorpions at the bottom of a tequila bottle fighting over the worm, as usual.

    The deceitful manipulation of language is also a fatal trait of humans.

    The word ‘elites’ as used for the top classes of humans is pure lie. There is nothing elite about them.

    They are human Pathocrats, not ‘elites’, who have ruled humanity for millenniums as a Pathocracies.

    Always have, always will, on either side of any bottleneck event til the Sun burns out and all the cock roaches die.

    H S Sapian, ecocidal to the Core.

    Dig it.

  • Just a few questions:

    What happens when the recruits run down the batteries of their cell phones, iPads, etc? Who is bringing the beer? Just how much TP is this going to take? Ever read, “Lord of the Flies”?

  • The stormcrow,
    Very well done.worth saving. I have finally reached the same conclusion.For me it was a touch or go decision,but the last two posts on this blog have tipped the balance.

  • Unlike Guy, I think there is plenty to to disagree with in Chia’s opus. One thing I will definitely disagree with is his determination to make the Arkians grain farmers. The Anasazi (were they still around) and many other groups, including current day Syrian farmers could advise him on how well that works in a chaotic climate. I am quite sure that the Arkians will live by hunting and herding, just like the Mongols, or they will not live at all. So, the plan better include a survey of the existing wild game situation and selection of suitable game and livestock breeds to be shipped in.

    The crew of the Ark better include plenty of uncouth youth with experience in bow hunting and making bows from native materials. How to knap flint and work stone. Some should be comfortable with sticking an arm up the birth canal of various animals. Well, to cut it short, everything that primitive people, such as the Mongols do all the time. Actually, I can solve the whole selection problem so that Carolyn can stay home and do what she does. Just go to Mongolia and round up a bunch of young Mongols (not the ones in Ulan Bator) and tell them you can set them up to be ancestors of a new Mongol Horde. They still adore Genghis there. It will be an easy recruitment.

  • Did I miss something here 1st everyone has to please understand NUKE with no cooling is a game ender for humanity! We may beat the heat? Not 1 chance in hell!

  • Trish R

    They might be on to something here:


    I haven’t found anything yet on the broad implications of development on wildlife on a global scale. But I’ll keep it in mind. I doubt that there is much if anything related to the need to freeze development within its current confines. This link (about the kind of landscape I was familiar with in CA) seems to come from the perspective of a kinder, gentler way to kill the planet.


  • Guy, sorry for the ignorance here but I am wondering if you could briefly explain to me the difference between the very accelerated timing (15 years) of the current extinction and the Permian extinction. In other words, could you reiterate why this one is happening so much faster? It sounds like the Permian happened over thousands of years, also caused by methane and a 2000 ppm Co2 level. Sorry, I’m rather new to this info, like within the last month. Thanks again. -Jim

  • Take a jib jab Keep rollin Guy & Dance from the roof tops with me of ole Az. It’s important that the puzzle pieces that most don’t understand R always linked by time study, Minutes of the meeting & Mother Earth is meeting full force right now. Since 10, Chased out of Phx. by emissions that were getting out of control for a bowl I adored since 78 there have been so many signs that have crossed my dest for 35 years in the Chimney Safety Institute of America, Tech Flue emissions life. U have it dead on Guy. & So does the time study by U & our friends in the Atmospheric science world. NASA NOAA & a long list of world renowned educators can not be off even by a slit bit. Then we turn to the Nuke ? Earth will only regenerate itself when total subduction happens. ? & even then it may still be to nuke hot!!! Just like PCB in my Harbor here that MONSANTO instrumented into humanity concocted by last time i checked around 250 different chemicals. Nuke is refined to the highest level of toxic emissions ever concocted by man kind. We must not only look at the Carbon Emissions but all gasses that R solar reactive. Always follow just 1 rule of thumb in the industry that has choked the sky’s for centuries now. Emissions & Soot Kills! Positive is where we all must BEE< If any thing else tells U tank is coming it is the ''BEE that I cherish since a kid!'' Not the KILLER BEES @ my orange trees in the Aqua Freea & yes them lil Sandy Devils from Africa can take U out just like Global Thermal demise is doing.

  • The author thoroughly discredits himself by attributing commentary that never occurred. Show me, Mr. Chia, where I ever denied the Holocaust. You made the statement so I now challenge you to provide proof.

    You, sir, are a phony and a fraud. Further, I demand an apology unless you are willing to document your libelous comments.

  • Guy-

    It is wrong to allow a commenter to make blatantly false and misleading statements. As I stated previously, show me the evidence where I ever denied the Holocaust otherwise I demand a fucking apology from this scum bag. I have NEVER denied the existence of this tragic event.

    You must demand a full apology from Chia or you are sanctioning a libelous liar onto your web site.

  • @ those advocating for real names and/or descriptive profiles:

    Among many other possible good reasons, it strikes me that at least one important practical reason argues against many people using their real names here or otherwise identifying themselves. What reason? Many people commenting here may work for high-powered corporations, institutions, the military, churches, and so on. They probably value their employment positions, the money they get paid, their relationships with their customers and vendors, and their social relationships within their organizations. In many cases their peers, customers, and employers–in some cases, perhaps even family members–would not take kindly to the opinions they express here. For sure, the NSA will have no difficulty identifying anyone through their bogus user name, when it wishes to, but most employers, customers, and so on, will not have that capability. A little anonymity helps to protect these people and give them much more freedom to express themselves than they would have without it.

  • @ FredrickKling

    Guy has already clearly stated, twice I think, that he disagrees with the harsh tone and inappropriate attacks on other people in this essay, and as well that “I’d like to think we can carry out a civil discussion in this space, regardless how dire the topic.” I feel curious to know what more you want from Guy.

  • Guy-

    Now that you have allowed this fucking huckster/liar Chia to thoroughly soil my reputation with false and misleading statements I can see that this site is FUBAR. Thus this is my end.

    How many readers know about the assistance I have provided to participants on this site who have contacted me in need of financial assistance and/or a job?

    How many readers know that I have donated much of my financial wealth toward buying and protecting in perpetuity habitat for endangered flora and fauna.

    I am now finished with NBL and I am finished helping others when all that I receive is a big pile of shit in my face.

    Pathetic that I am forced to this level thanks to a NBL sanctioned liar.

  • Bud-

    Are you really as dense as you sound? I want a fucking apology for attributing to me statements that I never made. I could care less about Chia’s tone.

  • Guy, sorry for seeming dense, but I just need some clarification on this:
    If you don’t disagree with anything in Chia’s essay, does that mean that you agree to everything? I’m not being picking about semantics here, I am just struggling to understand.
    (And again, many thanks for all that you do.)

    “McPherson’s comment: I disagree with nothing in Chia’s essay except the harsh tone and inappropriate attacks on other people. I’d like to think we can carry out a civil discussion in this space, regardless how dire the topic.”

  • Guy McPherson,

    I’ve appointed myself Quality Control Manager of NBL & we not have “civil discussion in this space.”

    Can someone please tie the sleeves securely on my straitjacket?
    I refuse to take myself seriously. I’ll leave serious-mindedness to others. I do have one goal,to be dust in the wind.

  • Well said, Geoffrey. You’re a brave man!

    And thanks to Guy for post this and not disagreeing with anything in the post. However, I would disagree with a few points (going both way, with respect to NTHE).

    I agree that NTHE could well be [greater than] 99.9% likely. My point of contention is in the remaining [less than] 0.1%

    Yes it could be more than 99.9%. But what do you think that actual probability is? I don’t think it’s possible to quantify it and it depends on what is meant by ‘near term”. For example, Paul Beckwith would view near term as the next couple of hundred years. The confidence of probabilities would probably (!) decrease as the time period goes up. For the next 20-30 years, the probability might be (just a WAG) 30%, with an uncertainty of +-25%. Over 200 years, the probability might be 90% +-10%, for example.

    Let us accept David Wasdell’s judgement that a global average temperature rise of at least 5degC above baseline is now baked into the cake

    Yes, but that estimate is, IIRC, for over 200 years. As your fictional story suggests, a longer time period gives survivors a longer time to migrate and adapt.

    The notion that the effect of temperature on humans alone determines survivability is wrong. Humans require a thriving ecosystem in which to survive. Whilst bringing some seeds/animals for an artificial ecosystem might work, I think it’s unlikely to. We need wild areas (a la permaculture zone 5) to have a thriving ecosystem. I think survivors would likely live in areas that could adapt to the changes. But, sure, a vast die-back would certainly be a negative feedback (a point that Paul Beckwith also made).

    the coast of the East Siberian sea where the summer ice has disappeared and methane is being exponentially liberated
    I checked some Shakova papers and couldn’t find this mentioned (that exponentially increasing release of methane was occurring). Indeed the nearest measuring station I could find, at Tiksi, shows fairly level concentrations over the last few years. Certainly she is worried by the possibility but there doesn’t seem to be enough data yet to show exponential release of methane to be happening yet.

    Even though over the past 6000 years civilisations rose and fell and caused some environmental damage, none caused irreparable harm to our biosphere before the advent of industrialisation. Pre-fossil fuel civilisation was not incompatible with sustainability.
    Any civilisation that causes “some environmental damage” on an ongoing basis is not sustainable. I agree with those who say civilisation is incompatible with sustainability. Of course, some societies that don’t become civilistations (which are characterised by the rise of cities) have been and could be sustainable.

    For all the things that humans COULD have done, the species does seem to have a distinctive behavioural trait (all species have distinctive traits) which guarantees that the discovery of some very useful resource and the means to extract it would always result in overshoot. You’re right that humans don’t “deserve” to go extinct; our behaviour is unavoidable; it’s impossible for a species to adopt (as a whole) behaviours which are artificial. It doesn’t really matter how many examples of deviant behaviour that you can come up with, Homo sapiens will always act like Homo sapiens. Perhaps a follow on species will act differently and the post collapse era may well provide impetus for such evolution, with separated groups that are isolated from each other.

    I agree that humans are unlikely to wreak the same havoc again, given the lack of energy to do so, for tens of millions of years (I certainly wouldn’t expect Homa sapiens to survive that length of time), but more local devastation is certainly possible. Whilst permaculture ethics and techniques would, or could, certainly guide some future societies, it’s not a given that they won’t deviate if some see a short term advantage in doing something unsustainable.

    Will it be better for the Living Planet if human beings go extinct?
    This is a meaningless question since there is no objective definition of “better”. As you say, if some species could answer, they may answer in the affirmative but that would be subjective and something we (Home sapiens) will probably never know.

  • @ FredrickKling

    Okay. I am holding my hand up pleading guilty as charged. I guess I am, indeed, as dense as you think. Twice Guy has said that he disagrees with the inappropriate attacks on other people in the essay. If I have understood you correctly, you want him to apologize for Jeffery and/or to demand that Jeffery apologize. Especially given Guy’s prior statements, either one of your demands of him seems both unfair and inappropriate to me. For you to ask Jeffery to apologize to you? Certainly. By all means ask for that, if you wish. I expect that he probably will apologize; and if he does not, that remains HIS business, not Guy’s. But for you to make those demands of Guy including “You must demand a full apology from Chia or you are sanctioning a libelous liar onto your web site.”? I guess I am, indeed, “too dense” to agree with that. Yesterday morning I posted this “thought for the day” at Fractal Planet and, ironically, it seems largely, though not perfectly, to fit here now, a Noam Chomsky quote: “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”

  • Tierra Del Fuego doesn’t sound like a good choice. There’s no ozone layer above it anymore.

  • I have never seen so many comments rift with PTSD.

  • @Weddle

    “Will it be better for the Living Planet if human beings go extinct?”
    This is a meaningless question since there is no objective definition of “better”


    It is a totally meaningful question for almost all life forms on the planet except egocentric humans.

    “Better” is sustainable and stable ecologies for spans longer than the godamn ‘industrial revolution.’

    The only life forms to vote for humans continued existence on Earth are their parasites who would be without their hosts (temporarily) since most human parasites first developed on animals, even the parasites might vote us ‘off the planet’ like a really bad Reality Game Show.

    No Tony, by and large no other life forms on the Late Great Planet Earth want or need us at all to continue their own life styles.

    The choice of words to frame a description of something are always a form of propaganda.

    Humans are not alpha predators, far, far to flattering, they are alpha parasites.

  • “It is a totally meaningful question for almost all life forms on the planet except egocentric humans.”

    OK, Roger, that’s your opinion. Duly noted. However, it’s not a question that has an answer that can be checked. If all humans decided to do the right thing it may not help any species for more than a couple of centuries, but we will never know one way or the other. If one believes in near term human extinction, the question is irrelevant, anyway.

  • Well, that sure stirred us up now, didn’t it? Typically, we sling words at each other, usually trying to run the other person down while elevating ourselves. Meanwhile we’re advised to concern ourselves with the ideas and keep away from personal attacks.

    The idea that any human is going to survive the complete loss of habitability that’s clearly becoming reality, via any techno or other means is simply not grasping what that loss entails. Ulvfugl states it in his comment above regarding the timeline involved and I tried to bring up the fact that there are simply too many problems to solve and no means to solve them.

    Whether or not it comes in the very near future (like nobody will survive the 2020s as far as i’m concerned – this is my opinion) or extends to the next century (highly doubtful, but again there are many people who don’t even believe this is happening), it doesn’t matter what any of us think.

    We all make statements that we believe due to our worldviews. For example, Godofredo above really thinks we have control (maybe even ultimate control) while I think the exact opposite, that we have precisely zero control over anything ultimately. Robin claims that chaos and anarchy are direct opposites while I think they’re both included in collapse and wriggling around in the social mire with other humans.

    None of this stuff matters. We’re not going to extend our run on this planet by continuing to do the very actions that brought us here.
    There are too many of us and not enough of other species that we’re killing off living the way we are. In fact, it’s gotten so bad (due to our neglecting the warning signs for so long) that we are now unable to “undo” what we’ve done to the ecology and chemistry of the planet. We’re moving out of the habitable zone whether or not we like it or believe it. It’s the reaction of the planet to the imbalances we’ve caused.

    Build your Ark, construct your domes – it’s not going to matter, so do whatever you want in the time remaining (while trying to do no more harm).



    Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown

    Social science is being militarised to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and protest movements

    US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands.”

    Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD ‘Minerva Research Initiative’ partners with universities “to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US.”

    Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model “of the dynamics of social movement mobilisation and contagions.” The project will determine “the critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagians by studying their “digital traces” in the cases of “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey.” [read the rest]



    6/12/2014 — Multiple DRONES being tested for Weather Modification Spraying

    Now, June 2014, we see another story appear in the main stream media regarding Drones and Weather Modification.

    Now being reported as experiments being done at SIX sites.. one of which is in Nevada.

    The other 5 sites are: New York, Virginia, Texas, Alaska, and North Dakota.

    Thanks to Ginger Wagner for sharing this story below.



    “Cloud seeding may be the next frontier for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, with potential global implications.

    The state of Nevada was one of six selected test sites by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in December 2013. One of the state’s focuses is how UAS can make cloud seeding an easier, more economical process.

    Cloud seeding is the attempt to modify the amount of precipitation from clouds, done mostly in an attempt to alleviate drought by creating precipitation. Presently it is done by launching silver iodide into the clouds from the ground or by flying over top of the clouds and dropping the chemicals into the cloud formations. [there’s more, including video]

    Neither of these stories regards the (unintended or not) consequences of their actions and assume “control” will result. Silly humans, they never seem to learn.

  • Humans from the ‘developed parts’ of the world are tapeworms with $30 haircuts.

    Pathocrats® are tapeworms with $1000 haircuts.

    Primitive humans are tapeworms that don’t need haircuts.

    Frugal humans are tapeworms whose mother’s still cut their hair with sewing scissors.

    See a pattern?

    Humans never give back anything to their environments except maybe their bodies when they die and even there, up scale humans want to be embalmed with preservatives.

    The epitaph for humans:

    Like the song lyric sung by Fred Neil says, “a hand full of gimme and a mouth full of much obliged…..”

  • Bud,

    Apparently you are as dense as Friedrich thinks you are, because Guy, by publishing Jeffrey’s broadside against the regulars, is sanctioning a big fuck you to the readership even if he demurs on the style.


    Loyalty is a two-way street, dude.

  • ‘Bill Gates, Richard Branson or James Cameron, are you reading this?’


  • @ Friedrich Kling

    I want a fucking apology for attributing to me statements that I never made.

    Imo, you are entitled to an apology. I read every comment on this blog. As far as I recall, you have never even mentioned the Holocaust, let alone denied it.

    But don’t let the fucker upset you. It’s obvious that he had nothing worthwhile to say, his essay is a rehash of what RE has already said – all the common survivalist stuff that can be found on hundreds of forums – with personal insults directed at many of the regular contributors here, which are obviously intended as bait to hook the sort of indignation you have expressed, to get himself some hits.

    Look what he said

    No doubt they will flame this article rudely and relentlessly and may resort to ad hominum attacks against me. If I have struck a nerve then I know I am right about them. Such people are best ignored or better still, deleted from the website.

    He thinks he can get away with that kind of pitiful contortion of logic. That if we attack him back, that must be PROOF that he is CORRECT !

    The thing is, there is nothing in the article that’s of any interest, really. The fantasy about surviving could have been written 20 years ago by a teenager as an literature exercise and been given a pass mark.

    So what else is there to say ? Other than to return Chia’s extraordinary rudeness, bad manners, and offensive remarks in kind ?

    I really don’t mind being insulted, because I insult people back. I’m used to it. But Guy has asked me to be civil. So I do try to restrain myself. I do get pleasure from scrunching conceited hypocritical ignorant shitheads who deserve it. I’d put Chia into that category.

    Yes, considering how sensitive the topic of Holocaust Denial is, and how inflammatory such an accusation is, on this occasion, I back Friedrich Kling’s demand for an apology – even though I’m still waiting for the one he owes me….

  • It is clear to me as well that I am a cowardly, anonymous, hanger-on here at the beach and it suits me just fine. I never felt closer to a bunch of total strangers. That is, except the likes of Mr. Chia here. It isn’t that you dare to dream (even if it is a dream based on the essence of what lead us to this situation in the first place), its that you desire to impose your beliefs on the rest of us who are here for a different purpose. We find great value and comfort in having a safe place to come together and help one another work through the hard stuff of coming to terms with what we and only we (as a species that is) have wrought, NTE and the wholesale destruction of an otherwise jewel of a planet that at one time was so bountiful as to baffle the imagination and is now mostly a toxic waste dump. So to all the Mr. Chias out there, we welcome you to come here for the community that we are but not to turn our community into your own. Thanks to Guy and all the “hanger’s on” here that help me remain (relatively) sane in an insane world.

  • Geoffrey Chia

    One of my faves is the Ozymandias poem.

    For obvious reasons.

    (…and because Ozy is so bombasticly a fool as his fading words are the proof of the exact opposite of what he intends to demonstrate…..he probably was a politician who didn’t believe cutting down the forests of the old world would change the climate and create desertification – 😉

    you ask:

    “Where does the truth lie?”

    Well ‘the truth’ doesn’t lie by definition, now does it?
    But if you want an answer you might find it here….

    ‘Tony Abbott’s latest 15 lies’



    IMHO the video, it is priceless…

    This was recorded in July 2013,
    and then Afraidians elected him prime minister ????(someone must have)

    ‘Abbott Lies: The Most Cynical Dishonest Deceitful Politician Ever?’


    “Granted, it’s a hard list to top, how many politicians have been found to be cynical, dishonest, and deceitful? Hundreds upon thousands of them, but this Tuesday in Australia, Tony Abbott took the top spot. He is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a phenomenal liar. In Tuesday’s budget, he broke almost every promise he made to the electorate in his campaign of a year ago:

    “No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST, and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

    Those were the words that came out of Abbott’s mouth in September 2013. With supreme duplicity, he has reneged on all of them. This is the same man who said in June 2013 “we’ve had too many politicians who say one thing before an election to win votes, and then do the opposite after the election.” It was almost as if he had the gift of foresight.

    “No cuts to education:” University fees are set to soar into the stratosphere as they are put onto the open market. As recently as November 2013, the minister responsible said this was an impossibility because “we promised that we wouldn’t.” ”

    So when you ask:

    “Where does the truth lie?”

    have I found it ?
    😉 😉 😉

  • Sorry for the delay in my response. I sleep occasionally.

    Geoffrey Chia, I am request evidence or an apology to Frank Kling. Without that evidence, you are libeling him.

    And I apologize to Frank. I did not review this essay sufficiently to catch the libelous information.

    Martin, I’m still seeking your response to my earlier comment. Also, I’m seeking a civil tone from you.

  • Yes, there is no point in discussing survival much less planning for it – we are toast.

    Still, I wish the survivalists (from the right wing anti-government militia types to the left-wing hippie types) would embrace the true core issue: Civilization killed us! Plant no crops, build no cities. Roam the Earth as wild animals – eat only what falls from the trees, kill nothing. Sleep on the ground, bathe in the river, and run naked through the forest.

    My soul aches.

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • Guy,

    Oh, so I’m the bad guy. My earlier comment was directed at Geoffrey. That’s why I began the sentence with “Jeffrey.” It seems Jeffrey is unaware that you wish to be reinstated in the belly of the beast, so why not get it out into the open so that Jeffrey can damn you more completely. You’re the one who has taken the perverse decision to publish his prolegomena to nothing.

    Just think, you can comment here for years, but if you cross a line, you get “and what are you doing, Martin?” Years of emotional investment in some guy’s blog gets you one shibboleth, stale as a week-old bun. I asked you a question a few weeks back concerning KMO, which you ignored. I don’t call that civil.

  • Martin, you claim I’m “ready and willing to renegotiate with Empire in return for a warm seat at the table. That’s beyond hypocrisy.” And then you wonder why I call you out for insulting me.

    You asked about people clicking their tongues on KMO’s podcasts, and you expected an answer from me? How the hell would I, or anybody else, know why people click their tongues? Why should we care?

  • Mr. Chia has a good grasp of the problem set.

    I’m not at all sure that the kind of effort he’s thinking about here has any chance at all, for all the reasons his critics here have pointed out, and for one other reason, which is that it would require the kind of top down approach to organization that seldom works well in the real world.

    Is some accidental billionaire the best person to decide who is recruited to try to be a seedbearer for the future of the planet? What will the rules be? Will it be like the Apollo program? Who has the Right Stuff?

    Will we screen for hemophilia and Tay-Sachs? Mental illness? Will we choose people with lots of skin melanin so future generations will be less likely to get cancer from the increased radiation?

    Whose kid gets picked? Who is allowed to perish? Human nature being what it is, I see lots of problems with the whole scenario.

    I think it is far more likely that pure chance will provide some highly unusual protected spot where some humans can live for some time into the increasingly chaotic future and manage to reproduce. Some geographic anomaly, some lake effect somewhere (and not necessarily the most probable spot). How long such lucky (or smart) ones might persist is a guess, I think.

    Or divine purpose will show the way. I’m enough of a wacko to realize the part of the visible spectrum I’m looking at is a small part of the picture that is true reality. I’m also enough of a wacko to believe that the forces that caused this interesting universe to be here are not at the mercy of a bit player self-named Man.

    I wonder if there aren’t a hundred or a thousand or a million dead planets out there in the vast emptiness, where civilizations not too different than ours have failed to make the transition to sustainable living…and perhaps the universe itself must learn and evolve by making mistakes. We might just be one of those.

    To me it’s an exciting time to live. Lots to think about, and lots to do. I will do what I can to mitigate the effects of climate change for me and a few others, including my children, knowing full well that it’s a Hail Mary of the First Water. We will see what happens, if we don’t get run over by a bus before it all shakes out.

  • Why don’t we have leaders like this?

    Amazon tribal chief’s SOS: the white man is destroying everything
    The Brazilian tribal leader who enlisted Sting to help save the Amazon rainforest has accused the developed world of being intent on “destroying everything” and urged its citizens to fundamentally change the way they think.
    Twenty-five years ago, Chief Raoni Metuktire, of the indigenous Kayapo population, shot to international prominence as his campaign against hydroelectric dams on the Xingu river galvanized The Police’s frontman.
    With the help of Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, Chief Raoni generated so much publicity he was able to defeat a series of proposed dams along the Xingu, a major tributary of the Amazon where this tribe lives, in the early 1990s.
    But the threat has resurfaced, and at a far greater magnitude, with proposals to build up to 60 hydroelectric dams now at various stages of development across the Amazon, including at least six on the Xingu.
    Speaking to The Independent through a translator, Chief Raoni, said: “The white man seems to be destroying everything. Try to change the way you think and tell your children while they’re growing up that it’s very important to respect nature, to respect indigenous peoples, and not to destroy everything, not to finish everything.
    “All over the world indigenous people are having problems with the destruction of their land and forest. Everywhere I look there is occupation and destruction of the natural balance.
    “We should be finding a solution together to preserve the forest for the future of our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. What’s going to happen when it’s all gone, when it’s all destroyed and there’s nothing left?”
    The Kayapo population numbers about 8,500, most of them living in a handful of villages in the eastern part of the rainforest.

  • @Geoffrey Chia

    I read your entire essay. I found it reasonable and logical.


    Ram Samudrala

    LOL. Good one!

    Garden update:

    It’s been great weather for the cool crops, lettuces, kale, cabbage, broccoli, beets, arugula, mesclun, and snow peas. Beets and beet greens have high nutritional value. A twofer. Living on the right coast reminds me of living on the sunshine coast of BC with all this cloudy, rainy weather. Tomato and pepper plants were stationed in the below grade cold frame and until recently were finally transplanted into the veggie garden. One might say they were hardened off sufficiently during the cold spring New England weather and are presently adapting to the rich, organic soil built up over the years. Sunshine and warmer temps are needed over the next few days in order to dry things out otherwise mold and other pathogens will be difficult to control ie; early blight and late blight on tomato plants. I have not been able to plant cucumbers yet as the soil is too wet to work. There is still time to plant cucumbers in USDA plant hardiness zone 5. Actually this is the time (just before June 15) that I prefer to plant cucumbers in order to reduce the incidence of striped cucumber beetle infestations. Patience is a virtue.

    Two large brown bats were observed at twilight last evening. I was sooooooooo glad to see them! I observed a wild hen turkey with her brood of ten chicks the other day and the snappin’ turtle does a good job of rate limiting fish and frog populations in the pond.
    Tree frogs, peepers and crickets are deafening on warm, humid evenings. Bugs? We got em. There’s a house wren who likes to sing to me and makes it a point to get close to do so. Looks like a great year for high bush blueberries so far. ‘Redhaven’ peach set fruit this year surprisingly enough given the near frosty mornings at which time the plants were in flower. Of course it was selectively bred to do just that. The proper plant in proper location. So it goes.


  • Martin, you claim I’m “ready and willing to renegotiate with Empire in return for a warm seat at the table. That’s beyond hypocrisy.” And then you wonder why I call you out for insulting me.

    I didn’t claim it. I asked Geoffrey if he was aware that you had admitted to regretting resigning from the U of Az. You did, didn’t you? The hypocrisy part is rhetorical. If Geoffrey thinks you’re a hypocrite for regretting your decision to build a redoubt, I can’t imagine what he would say if he knew you wanted back into the education racket. And it is a racket. We both know that.

    I said nothing about clicking tongues.

  • @ Martin

    You wrote: “…Guy, by publishing Jeffrey’s broadside against the regulars, is sanctioning a big fuck you to the readership even if he demurs on the style.” So, allowing freedom for different people to express different opinions amounts to “sanctioning” the views of people we disagree with? Given the meaning of the word sanctioning, you are right about that. That is, indeed, exactly what any group or individual that allows freedom of speech does, just as Chomsky emphasized. They provide a “sanctuary” for all ideas, a safe place for expressing ideas. Chomsky again: “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.”

    Yes, Martin, this includes someone giving a big “fuck you” to some or all of the NBL readership (including me), whether they do that purposefully, in error, or due to lack of skill. Free speech MEANS that the individual or group “in control” allows people to express their opinions whether we agree with them, or not, even if we may despise those opinions as you and some others appear to with Jeffrey’s most recent essay. Though I disagree with some of the things Jeffery wrote, how he expressed himself, and with any libelous statements made in this essay (purposefully or in error), I strongly prefer free speech over the censorship that you and some others appear to wish to impose here. I, for one, greatly appreciate Guy’s sanctioning free speech and avoiding censorship, ATTEMPTING, it seems to me, to create more of a respectful dialog network than an authoritarian hierarchy.

  • I apologize for misspelling Geoffrey’s name.

  • Martin says: “I said nothing about clicking tongues.”

    Martin is lying. From 6:49 a.m. on 18 April 2014 comes his most recent (and perhaps only) comment about KMO: “I have also noticed that a lot of the people interviewed by KMO on the C-Realm Podcast have the habit of pressing their tongues against their hard palate to produce a click, which they do particularly when they begin their answer to a question. Does this mean anything?”

  • Good morning Guy, excellent offering as always.
    Thank you Mr. Chia for a wonderful article, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it informative and inspiring.
    I don’t post here often at all but do read the works submitted. I wanted to just say a couple things about your post.
    First off, I think if you or anyone can put the wheels in motion to try your idea you should go for it.
    It’s like someone terminally ill (I saw another poster mention this too) and their family is at their wits end and will try anything to save their loved one. We honestly have nothing to lose at this point.
    Will it work? Who the hell knows. LOL
    But, nothing is harmed by trying it so I say go for it.
    Kind of sux though that the same money based thinking and people would be needed to make it happen. Their weird way of living life is kind of what got us in this mess in the first place.

    A couple more things that popped in my head while i was reading, one, was the last time humans were almost wiped out, I’ve read that there could have been as few as 5000 people left in the whole world.
    I think about that.
    what saved those 5000?
    Random chance.
    I doubt that they were working together on any kind of plan or anything, although i could be wrong about that but, i think there were a few that just slipped through the extinction cracks here and there around the world.
    I think that is how it might work this time ’round too.
    People have a hard time giving credit to the random chance factor in things though and we do love a good planning session.

    Another point is your mention of saving history to teach people what not to do in the future.
    I think we have done that for a long time and what it appears to do is give inspiration and blueprints to people that are attracted to conquest and oppressing others. Maybe we should NOT remember history so much. I believe we are the stories we tell ourselves. And some people will always be drawn to the dark side of human history for ‘how-to ideas. It seems to be the nature of the beast.

    Also, about trolls… don’t read their posts.
    I just skip some things that are mean and nasty, unless of course i agree with them. LOL
    Besides, there is a little bit of troll in all of us given the right issue and circumstance. Hell, a little bit of trolling is probably good for a person from time to time.

    I’m not a professional person, just an artist and grandmother that spends a lot of time concerned about the future that my grandson will be inheriting. I really did like your idea about the Ark though. You do realize however, that those people will be people just like us, just like the people we meet every day, subject to all our shortcomings and flaws and will act them out just as we do.
    It’s how life works.
    If the Ark survives, when those people eventually move to re-inhabit places where the “random chancres” live, we will begin again our conflicts, competitions, strange minglings of ideas and cultures and I would feel it safe to say, do much of this all over again.

    p.s. I recently spent a few weeks pondering this question, “Is there anything on earth that wouldn’t be better off if humans were gone” I still haven’t come up with anything.

  • Guy,

    That was in a comment to ulvfugl. It was not in my question to you, where I specifically did not mention KMO by name to be discreet, because you hadn’t mentioned him by name either, when I asked you to tell me if you had communicated with KMO because it troubled me that you two would have a disagreement. This was in response to a gnomic comment you had made about a “well-known podcaster” who had said some ungenerous things about you. When I read that, I guessed it was KMO, and when I went to listen to his podcast, I found he had said something negative about you. My impression was that there were further comments about you on one of KMO’s vault podcasts, to which I do not have access, so my question was also to elicit a response from you to find out what he had said.

    Bud Nye,

    Once again you make more outrageous assumptions about me. I don’t despise any views. My problem is with Guy’s lunatic decision to publish Geoffrey’s tirade. If Guy shares Geoffrey’s contempt for the regulars here, maybe he should just fucking say so.

  • Martin, your lack of clarity is stunning. Every time you insult me, you claim you were insulting somebody else instead. But it’s always in retrospect.

  • “If Guy shares Geoffrey’s contempt for the regulars here, maybe he should just fucking say so.”

    it doesn’t matter to me whether he comes right out and says so or not. it turns out partying with the unicorns is just a hell of a lot more fun!

  • Why do you even concern yourself with insults? I’m a grown-up. I don’t care. I don’t care about anybody’s views. I don’t care if people question the Holocaust. You don’t give an inch. No humour. No conceding any ground or any points. You’ve spent too long as an authority figure. It has corroded your character. Direct enough for you?

  • I suspect your latest comment is targeted at me, Martin. As usual, it’s not quite clear. If it is intended for me, I have a comment about your “authority figure” insult. If you incorrectly believe I’m an authority figure, how do you explain my anarchism-inspired approach to the classroom and this space? Are you as stupid as you seem?

  • Guy,

    If you’re going to be a public intellectual, you’re going to need a thicker hide. As a former university lecturer, you were an authority figure, were you not? I don’t know if you were the kind of lecturer who couldn’t teach a dog to bark, but you did have to write up reports about people.

    This is how you’re going to write this exchange up: He hurled insults. Ergo, he doesn’t rate. Except there aren’t any insults. Some robust criticism. A few misunderstandings…

    There are no anarchists, Guy. Grow up.

  • Your ignorance is truly profound, Martin. I wasn’t a university lecturer, I was a professor. You’ve no idea what it means to be either, but you nonetheless disparage me.

    I’m still looking for that comment about KMO. The one you lied about.

    As further evidence of your overwhelming ignorance, you’re wrong about anarchism. It lives, as it has for more than two million years. You just cannot see beyond civilization. Edward Abbey gets it right: “Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.”

  • You think the problem is in me. Ho ho. I get anarchism. It’s just, you can’t call yourself one. It’s an affectation, like saying you’re a Gnostic. Parading before the void.

    Is it or is it not the case that you are hung up on hierarchy? Answer the fucking question.

  • Finally, Martin asks a straightforward question. Yes, I’m hung up on hierarchy, notably patriarchy. I think it’s evil, as I’ve pointed out repeatedly. But Martin doesn’t read what I write, he just reaches unfounded conclusions based on ignorance. And he’s a name-calling liar.