Butterflies All Along

by Peter Melton

Once upon a near-term extinction event,
there was a caterpillar named Humana.

She didn’t know why, but she was covering herself in a cocoon.
She felt trapped by the suffocating atmosphere, she felt like she was dying.

This self-made cocoon was engulfing her and it didn’t feel very good at all. She was very confused and she did not know why this was all happening.

She had heard from some of the wise ones, that from a grander perspective she was so much more than just a caterpillar. They told her that she was actually a spiritual being having the temporary experience of being a caterpillar. That all sounded nice, but she never really understood what it meant.

Humana felt like she was dying. She wondered, could it be true that a grander spiritual energy was up to something? She wasn’t sure what to do and now the cocoon had completely surrounded her. She closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

That night, in her dreams, she saw amazing colors. She felt like she was flying, way way up in the sky. She experienced wonderful new feelings, more amazing then any feelings she had ever felt.

In the morning as she woke up, she felt the urge to bust out of the cocoon she had wrapped herself in. As she started to climb out, she felt stronger than before, something had definitely changed.

She felt different. She was feeling the special feelings like she had felt in her dreams. She opened her eyes to a new kind of light and she saw the bright colors she had dreamed about too.

As she looked at herself, she saw the transformation, not only did she see the bright colors, but she realized … that she WAS THE BRIGHT COLORS!

Something amazing and transformational had happened while she slept. She felt so free … and then … She spread her new colorful wings … and then … she flew.

Flying high above the ground, Humana realized that her spiritual nature was in fact up to something. This was a very different life then what she had as a caterpillar. This could not have happened if she had not suffocated herself in the cocoon. That confusing time led to this experience of knowing herself in a brand new and glorious way, as a butterfly.

It wasn’t long before Humana was a grown butterfly and it was her turn to lay some butterfly eggs. She realized that those eggs would soon become baby caterpillars. Then it all sank in, each of those babies would experience the same confusion and dying process that she did and that they too would someday know themselves as so much more than caterpillars.

Someday, they would know themselves as butterflies, who had cleverly disguised themselves as caterpillars for a short time. They would also realize that they did it to themselves, for the thrill of the journey of remembering, that they were butterflies all along.

And we all live and die, happy ever after.


It appears that this butterfly /caterpillar/ butterfly process can be closely related to our current human extinction experience. We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience (we are butterfly/spirit eggs that are cleverly disguised as caterpillars/humans for a short time) .

To some degree we think that our humanity is all we are, just as Humana thought that she was only a caterpillar. Someday (now), we will create a world/cocoon that appears to be killing us. Wise ones (like me?) will tell us that we are so much more than human. Then, when we actually die, what we die to is our old understanding of who we thought we were. And when the time is right, we will emerge from that “death” as something so much more than we thought we were. (P.S. You don’t have to wait until you die, which is part of the reason you are reading this story.)

We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience. We are so much more that we think we are. We are co-creating our own earthly cocoon style extinction event so that we too can die to our limited experience of who we think we are. Someday, when the timing is right, we too shall emerge from this “death” and we will remember that we are one infinite spiritual energy. And we will remember that we cleverly disguised ourselves as humans for a short time. We did this to ourselves, all for the thrill of the journey of remembering, that we were butterflies all along.

Once this perspective is in place, we can transform the conversation about near term human extinction. Since in fact we are cocooning ourselves, exact date of extinction TBA, we are being dared to ponder the grander questions, like what is it to be human. Regardless of how/when or if this plays out, I think we can become greater representatives of humanity by looking in this mirror of human extinction and daring to talk about it. Enjoy.

As we all live and die happily ever after.


About the Author

Peter Melton is a high-flying, colorful beam of light, reminding you that you and I and everything else are the infinite energy of life, cleverly disguised as something else. All for the thrill of the journey of remembering … that we were butterflies all along. This disguise is called Peter Melton, 51-year-old, single white male born in California, blah blah blah …

Peter can be reached through the sound of birds chirping, or waves crashing, or children laughing or in the bubbles of your favorite beverage. Or, at Peter.Melton3@gmail.com


Beforewords (the opposite of Afterwords) (how this all came about)

After hearing about and exploring this concept of near term human extinction, (thanks and no thanks to Guy McPherson) I began pondering the grander meaning of our humanity. How am I supposed to feel about the possibility that I was part of ending humanity and zillions of other species too? How will others feel when they get this news?

As an eternal optimist and spiritual explorer, I felt that there had to be a bigger story playing out. One thing for sure, I didn’t want to hang out in that guilty doomsday feeling I felt, so I began to look for a way to make sense of it all. From the human perspective, this really sucks, period. But what is the spiritual perspective of this human extinction event?

It was there that I found some relief. Could it really be true, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience? I have heard and quoted that many times, but this is where the rubber meets the road. Can I accept that I am, and all my fellow humans are, actually, spiritual beings having a temporary human experience? And that to the same point, all plants and animals are too?

Could it be that all of it is one grand and temporary spiritual experiment? That somewhere over the rainbow there are some zany spiritual scientist mixing the stuff of life together in a test tube to see what happens?

If so, did they leave any clues? Where in nature does anything bizarre like this happen? That is when it hit me. The caterpillars and butterflies, perhaps we are playing out the butterfly/caterpillar/butterfly story. It makes more sense than any other “guilt free” idea I had heard of or thought of, so I wrote it up as a little fable. I like it, I hope you enjoy it too and it’s okay if you don’t, some folks don’t like the taste of extinction.


Mature, intelligent critics attack ideas, not people. Immature people attack people instead of ideas. For examples of the latter, pay a visit to the Doomstead Diner. If you’re inclined to respond in a manner McPherson views as immature, 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 97

  • I missed the part where Humana the butterfly warred upon the other butterflies, enslaved them, but them to death and laughed at their suffering. Or the other part where Humana the butterfly burned the forest to the ground so her favorite flower, Oilina, could grow. Or the part where the shinning light that was Humana was clearly the only light to behold and so she had all the beetles, flies and spiders depicted as soulless monsters out to ruin the world.

    But other than that, I found this to be trite and awful.

  • Beautiful story Peter. Sounds like a true story to me. Whatever it may be, you touched my heart deeply and I feel nothing trite or awful about it. Maybe I am not as jaded yet :)

  • ‘Trite and Awful???’

    It’s as awe-full as the air you breathed while you wrote that, and trite as in the common deadness we live in each day to have become blind to wonder.

    The most difficult thing for humanity collectively is coming to terms with our true greatness in the midst of everything telling us the opposite, especially given the good evidence to support the case. What if our inhumanity to others is simply our deep fear of change trying to put the brakes on from crashing into our truer spring loaded essence?

  • Welcome to the Beach, Peter.

    I can’t see most people as butterflies in waiting. Like Grant says in essence, the vast majority are way too stupid and cruel to ever become butterflies. (“One cannot grow figs on thistles nor grapes on thorns.”) But, I do believe that a rebirth may be waiting for a few, those who have put spiritual awakening first or have simply lead spiritual lives naturally, unburdened by striving.

    Here’s how I see it.

    I tend to believe those who claim that existence, the universe and all dimensions, are here and geared for the creation of life. I also believe strongly in evolution.

    After the Big Bang, the first generation of stars, it is said, were composed only of hydrogen and helium, the lightest elements. As the largest stars got old and finally exploded, within the heat and pressure of the explosion the heavier elements that make life possible are formed. So on, through generations of stars these elements became heavier, more complex. To me that’s a grand evolutionary process.

    I wonder if the spiritually advanced mind contributes something special to an ongoing evolution when the body dies? Just like the stars cooked up something special, might not cooking up spiritual realities in our lives contribute to evolutions final goal?

  • Come on Grant, tell us what you really think. ;) Admittedly, Peter’s effort was a bit sophomoric. However, I also have come to believe that there is something more to this human experience than we commonly see on the surface. Since most of us here have acquiesced to the idea of NTE, what do we have to lose in exploring the inner world of “I”. Peter Russell has said,”The sense of ‘I’ is identically the same for everyone.” That means that we are all a part of the one Mind. In other words, our physical existence on this very material planet may be like a dream. We may wake up to realize that we are something else.

    Be gentle. We are all on a journey. Some of us just aren’t aware of it yet.

  • We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience

    Actually, there is no “we”, there is no “I”. Human beings are a species of primate, mammal, vertebrate, chordate, eukaryote – depending on the size of your bin.

    The Diamond Sutra
    A New Translation by Alex Johnson
    Chapter 9
    “Tell me, Subhuti. Does a Buddha say to himself, ‘I have obtained Perfect Enlightenment.’?”

    “No, lord. There is no such thing as Perfect Enlightenment to obtain. If a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha were to say to himself, ‘I am enlightened’ he would be admitting there is an individual person, a separate self and personality, and would therefore not be a Perfectly Enlightened Buddha.”

    The moon seems to shine on its own, but is illuminated by the sun. The mind is non-sentient, but the awareness by illuminating it makes it seem sentient. That awareness does not belong to the mind, nor to any person. When without an object, without the “of” as in “awareness “of”” it is Void, Boundless (not within space-time-causation) and bereft of all descriptors including the preceding ones and this one. All that is known is known through it, yet it cannot be known. One is it, but this can only be realised when the “one” is dropped.

    Taittiriya Upanishad(2.9.1): That from which speech turns back failing to grasp it, and the mind also.

  • Hogwash!

    We are nothing, the Universe is nothing.

  • We are nothing, the Universe is nothing.

    The Void (Sunyata), the Boundless Void (Ein Sof). A different Nothingness, but the difference is not discernible until one directly realises not just “we are nothing”, but that “I am nothing”.

  • Uh-oh, Metaphysics… watch out, Peter! The Materialism patrol is on the job today. Why don’t you just complete your next Near-Death Experience, and not bother coming back to tell us all about it? Liars, all of ’em. It’s a ‘spiracy, I tell ya.

    Besides, where ya gonna re-carnate, if ya ain’t got no material bods to do it in? Huh? Yeah, thought so. Got you figured out.

    Oh, and remember: Earth is flat, can’t yuh see?, and there be Dragons out there, anyway, over that next horizon!

    An’ don’t get me started, ’bout that Sun and Earth thing, see…

  • The ‘caterpillar into butterfly’ metaphor is indeed trite. The ‘we are all shining beacons of light’ metaphor is also trite. Mixing the two together does not make it better.

    Listen, being happy is great. I rage and complain a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’m not happy. In fact, if I don’t complain I’m probably dead. But do we really need childish allegories for that feel good moment? Ugh.

    “You attract more flies with honey instead of vinegar.”

    “Why the hell would I want to attract flies?”

  • from a stumbling grunt on planet earth w/o butterflies, infinite energies, Buddhas, baby Jesus, grief counseling, art history, or a free Christmas goose.

    Maybe we is all mosquitos looking for lunch, hey?

    METHANE RELEASE IN THE ARCTIC; from Arctic News June 9, 2014

    Methane Temperature rises of the water close to the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean are very dangerous, as heat can penetrate sediments and cause hydrate destabilization. Huge amounts of methane are held in sediments at the seafloor, in the form of free gas and hydrates. In shallow waters, methane released from the seafloor can more easily enter the atmosphere without getting broken down by microbes in the water.

    Methane levels are already very high. On June 6, 2014, mean global methane reached levels as high as 1809 ppb, with peaks as high as 2516 ppb.

    Methane release from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean will warm up the Arctic even further, triggering even more methane releases, heatwaves, wildfires and further feed backs, in a spiral of runaway warming, threatening to cause starvation, destruction and extinction at massive scale across the globe.

  • Garant Schreiburg asks :

    “Why the hell would I want to attract flies?”

    Um, so that they can lay eggs ? That will turn into small maggots, called larvae, which are the same thing as caterpillars, as they feast upon your decomposing flesh.

    And then, they pupate, and hatch out into beautiful new adult flies. It’s a miracle of nature.

    Without death, no life. See ?


  • Robin, language is definitely a major stumbling block for human communication. But it’s all we have (?) at the moment. I suspect that ‘we’ are in more agreement than would be apparent at a glance at our words. If we are all aspects of one Mind then it is literally true that there is no we and no I (individually). But we must call this stuff something. Just as the void is not nothing, we are not nothing… otherwise we would not be trying to communicate.

  • It is irritating to have this human-centric attitude coming up yet again, this time complete with pretty butterfly wings and colored lights. We’re not naked apes consuming everything on the planet, no, we’re just chubby little larvae waiting to pupate into something else, something with pretty wings. Magical thinking. Can’t you see that this attitude is one of the main roots of our problem – NTE ? Sigh. [img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v204/woodychuck/bug1.jpg[/img]
    “Listen. We may be young, but we’re in love and we’re getting married- I’ll just work until Jerry pupates.”

  • Well, there may be some truth in what the OP says…there is a bigger picture out there beyond the material…but I fear it will be cockroaches dreaming of it.

  • Thank you, Grant and Wren! Yikes!

    “It makes more sense than any other “guilt free” idea I had heard of or thought..” This is the premise for the essay, that it’s a “guilt-free” idea…?!?! Why do we need a guilt-free idea? Why do we need guilt?

    @Wayne, why do we need to regard ourselves as “great”? What about us has led you to a conclusion of this nature?

    “The most difficult thing for humanity collectively is coming to terms with our true greatness”…

    I can’t think of a more nauseating statement. This is the exact kind of thinking that got us into this mess, as Wren points out.

    Where’s KathyC when you need her, to tell us about the wasps waiting to lay eggs in little Jerry to eat him from the inside out..? Who’ll write us a fable about how gorgeous that experience is?

  • This post reminds me of a Derrick Jensen/Lierre Keith get together that I attended. It was held at a local conference center, so I attended.
    It was before they wrote DGR but they were working on it and the subject of the 3 day workshop was about the subjects contained in the book. To “lighten” the offering, the conference center convinced Jensen to co-facilitate with a person who’s work involved attaining spiritual enlightenment through ritual,etc.

    Boy what a nightmare!!

    Here were a group of people that were all about Derrick Jensen’s message and interspersed with long,deep,dark discussions about the state of the planet (and,of course,salmon) there were mini workshops where people were asked to pretend to BE the dying salamander, to BE the rising temperature gauge, to Be the felled forest. All at the same time,mind you.

    The highlight of the second night was a Butterfly Dance that was preformed by a man who was flown in from 3 thousand miles away.
    He was dressed in a black unitard and he had giant colorful wings that were hand-painted with day-glo paint.

    The lights were put out and a black light was turned on. The man started in the center of the room curled in a ball,cocoon style.
    Slowly,slowly,he emerged from his collapsed state,exposing the neon colors of his day-glo wings to the viewing audience until he was fully erect,arms akimbo. Then he danced around the room,hither and yon,fully realizing his metamorphosis.

    Needless to say there was a revolt of Jensen camp,including Derrick himself.

    A side note. Many butterflies are drab browns,tans and off white.
    Why do you suppose that when humans want to steal another species identity it is always the most charismatic ones?

    To Peter – There is alot of back and forth on this site about the possible date of NTHE.

    Would you care to give a date for NTHM (Near Term Human Metamorphosis)

  • Thanks Lidia and Stormcrow!
    I can just see the butterfly ‘dance’ and the mass exodus.

    In the spirit of KathyC – parasitic wasps for all you chubby larvae !! :

  • “It was there that I found some relief. Could it really be true, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience? I have heard and quoted that many times, but this is where the rubber meets the road. Can I accept that I am, and all my fellow humans are, actually, spiritual beings having a temporary human experience? And that to the same point, all plants and animals are too?”

    I agree with notion that we are all spirit first, material second. I also agree that plants and non-human animals have spirit as well, in just the same way human animals do.

    But I cannot look so brightly upon what is being done to the planet, and put things into such a lighthearted, fluffy context that we are just “cocooning” the planet.

    I do understand the analogy; I just dont see as adequately representative of whats actually going on.

    I think the analogy of yeast is a much better one.

    Yeast, in beer or wine, consumes stuff, and, to put it frankly, shits out ethanol. Ethanol is poisonous, and the yeast is in a closed system with no way to remove the poisonous by-product of consuming and replicating with no checks in place (other than, eventually, the toxic by-product itself).

    Gradually the ethanol builds up to levels where the yeast can no longer survive, having polluted their environment with their own excrement to the point of literally poisoning themselves to death and destroying the entire yeast civilization.

    This is why beers and wines cannot naturally rise above a certain proof; the yeast eventually destroys itself, halting the production of ethanol (this is around 12 to 14%. Wines and beers with higher percentages are called “fortified”, and those higher percentages are not the function of yeast in the original batch of fluid).

    Humanity is like a yeast, placed into a vat of yummy consumable resources. The human yeast consumes, replicates, shits out unusable toxic by-products, and spreads to repeat the process until it reaches the ends of the vat, because thats what its programmed to do. Eventually the end of the vat is reached, but that doesnt stop the yeast. Toxic levels of waste increase to the point of significantly poisoning the yeast, but that doesnt stop its insatiable lust to consume and replicate more and more.

    Until finally… in its unthinking, mindless drive to consume, replicate, and spread, the yeast destroys itself, and all the other microorganisms, with its constant and seemingly endless production of poison that irreversibly taints the entire habitat of the closed system.

    I think thats a much more apropos analogy, all things considered.

  • @stormcrow, thanks for sharing that story. I would have mutinied, too! Funny that few people think this kind of nonsense is aberrant.

    This comes down to the predermination stuff I wrote about elsewhere: people will resist any conceit, even the most logical, if it makes them feel bad about themselves.

    If we are telling people things are bad, but they can “help” by recycling or changing lightbulbs, that’s a message that has a chance of being digested. If you don’t even have that to offer, then the mind apparently searches for ways to feel good about self-inducted mass destruction… viz. we will be spiritually reborn.

    It seems humans have always sought these sorts of “get-out-of-jail-free” cards. Maybe it’s related to the dissociation disorders experienced by some child abuse victims.. you just can’t accept being in the present so you project yourself elsewhere, into a place where you are beautiful, or you have agency, or there is peace and love, etc. Anything to mitigate the true horror.

  • http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_desc&edis_id=BH-20140607-44068-IND

    Biological Hazard in India on Saturday, 07 June, 2014 at 10:56 (10:56 AM) UTC.

    At least eight children died and 17 others were hospitalized after suffering from an unidentified illness at Malda Medical College and Hospital in West Bengal. “The children, aged between 1-6 years, were admitted here with high fever, vomiting and convulsion on Thursday night. The children died in the past couple of days,” superintendent-cum-vice principal of the medical college MA Rashid said. All the affected children hail from Kaliachak-I, Kaliachak-II and Kaliachak-III blocks of Malda district, officials said. Rashid said, “The symptoms started with fever and vomiting. It soon intensified and culminated in convulsions, leading to death of the children.” A team of specialists from School of Tropical Medicine in Kolkata will visit the area on Saturday. Three more children were admitted in Malda with similar symptoms on Saturday, officials said.


    Biological Hazard in Australia on Wednesday, 04 June, 2014 at 10:22 (10:22 AM) UTC.

    Dozens of Australian babies are infected by a virus that has no cure. Professor Theo Sloots says 46 babies are infected with parechovirus, which has spread to Queensland. At least 11 cases have been confirmed in the state since December. “The outbreak is Australia-wide now and we believe there are at least four types of the virus,” the Queensland Paediatric Infectious Diseases (QPID) laboratory director told reporters in Brisbane. “We don’t know what type is in Queensland compared to other states.” Parechovirus is a respiratory and intestinal disease that causes fever, irritability, rash and diarrhoea, but severe cases can develop into hepatitis or encephalitis. QPID Associate Professor Michael Nissen said the virus infected mainly infants, but no one was sure where it came from, how often it occurred or how to fight it. “This virus does not respond to common antibiotics,” he said. But Prof Nissen said humans must have been able to fight it because it has been around for a long time – doctors just were not able to detect it. The QPID laboratory has recently developed a test to identify the virus in patients within a day. “It is important to diagnose the infection early and distinguish it from other possible causes,” Prof Nissen said. The next natural step would be developing a vaccine, but he said until then the best way for parents to avoid parechovirus was good hygiene around babies. This included washing hands after going to the toilet, before eating, after wiping noses and after changing nappies.

  • THIS is what Washington and NATO is doing to ordinary Ukraine folk.

    FUCK Obama, Biden, Kerry, Nuland, McCain, Cameron, Prince Charles, CIA and MI6 and all the rest of the bloody murderers who do this evil.


  • Beautiful butterfly floating on the breeze…’57 chevy cruising down the highway…bliss, unity, splat. “I’m gonna need some Windex over here”

    Acceptance, to me, is not about creating more tolerable fantasies in one’s head but rather getting past the self-centered judgment of stuff being “good” or “bad” from my point of view – however expansive that may be.

    I suppose pretending to see (or actually seeing) beauty in ugliness is better than wallowing in despair. However, I suggest that seeing what is without judgment is even “better”.

  • I just want to know why Peter hates caterpillars.

  • I posted a story about children being abused in federal detention centers on my “representatives” facebook page, with a note saying that it made me sick. The children are “illegal aliens.”

    Fellow human beings seemed fine with it. Hey, they gotta come here legally, is what was said.

    I pointed out that my grandfather had arrived legally and was still beaten and abused by the KKK for being eyetalian, papist and generally just different.

    Butterflies don’t act this way. Caterpillars don’t either.

    Guy, thank you so much for your comments about RE. I was starting to wonder about you!

  • Post-Acceptance Rethinking

    Resources we need keep on shrinking,
    So hope for improvement is sinking,
    Forcing all that we knew
    To a new point of view
    Based on post-acceptance rethinking.

  • Where’s KathyC when you need her, to tell us about the wasps waiting to lay eggs in little Jerry to eat him from the inside out..? Who’ll write us a fable about how gorgeous that experience is?

    Who: Alice Sheldon (aka James Tiptree Jr.)
    When: 1973

    OK, it’s not a ‘from the inside out’ situation, but it’s close…


  • Regarding Guy’s recent comment that “mo flow says, ‘RE’s thinking is the *heart* of the insanity that drove us all here in the first place.’ Bingo” I say double Bingo. I expand significantly on this and related themes in a long essay that will post in a week or so here at NBL.


    You wrote “It is unbelievable that this is happening.”. I don’t find it unbelievable at all, but instead perfectly understandable and expected. I briefly explain this as well in the soon coming essay.

  • Peter – thank you! I just got back from my first adventures with ayahuasca and had hung a butterfly scarf up in this place I am staying when I found your article. Gotta love the synchronicity – just beautiful. Will be distributing it to my fellow experiencers, as this topic did come up and they will no doubt appreciate it, as well. Also, enjoyed the humor about where to find you! Thanks again.

  • Id like to add something I didnt mention in my last post, more like a clarification.

    I think humanity as a whole is like beer yeast. However, on the individual level, I think some people could be more likened to the original analogy of the butterfly.

    But I think thats a minority of people who are spiritually minded and actively try to transcend their human nature.

    The vast majority are simply the yeast that obliviously hurtles towards its own destruction, carrying with it everything and everyone else it can.

    Thanks for contributing your thoughts here, Peter.

  • Well, that was not a very useful read, now was it?

    Peter, you picked a pretty tough crowd for a magical alt-reality sort of fantasy — I think you set yourself up like a golf ball on a tee in a field full of drivers, but if you’ve read anything here, you knew that at the outset. Thank you for at least trying to make people feel better, but I think your effort fell flat.

    I like Into Destiny’s yeast & beer analogy a LOT better! I think that’s us — little yeasty beasties just doing our thing, eating and consuming everything around us, and befouling the very living room of our existence. Sooner or later it’s lights out.

    Multiple writers here and elsewhere have concluded that agriculture and the dawn of civilization was, in retrospect, the beginning of the end. Once we started owning things and developing a sort of profit motive for getting work done and transacting our business, we were locked into a self-defeating system. If we play by the “rules”, we will, eventually, destroy ourselves, just like the yeast will.

    We can look back and try to assign guilt or feel guilt, but I don’t suppose that’s a very useful exercise. On the individual level, we were just playing our part in a grand scheme of things into which we were born; could any of us really claim that we could have stopped the carnage ‘if only this’ or ‘but what if that’? Just like the yeast in the beer analogy, we were doomed by simply being human. We like to eat and to be warm & safe, and we had enough intelligence to modify our surroundings, but without the wisdom to see the consequences.

    So, here we are, inches from the precipice. I think a beer or a glass of wine would go down pretty well just about now, and I’ll be thinking of all the little yeasty beasties who gave their lives for my enjoyment.

  • Man want to fly.
    Man makes wings.
    Man attaches wings to body.
    Man jumps off cliff.
    Man falls to his death.
    Different man makes different wings.
    Man glides.
    Man can’t flap wings.
    Man attaches i.c.e. to wings.
    Man takes gun with him.
    Man beaten by different man with better wings and better i.c.e.
    Different man attaches better i.c.e to better wings.
    Man takes machine gun with him; kills other man.
    Different man with better i.c.e. and better machine gun kills man.
    Man with big wings and many i.c.e drops bomb and kills many children.
    Man with wings destroys Earth.

  • I love how so many of you seem to know it all! Ah, the hypocricy…

  • ‘We are spiritual beings undergoing a temporary human experience’,stated twice.The real metamorphosis here is the age old religious delusion in the present form of an undoubtedly privileged,Californian airhead. This anthropocentric drivel makes me puke.For something of substance to contemplate,visit the’No dice,too little,too late’ post at the collapse of industrial civilisation website,where Mike has posted a comment or I can quote here.
    ‘10,000 years ago,humans and their domesticated animals,represented less than one tenth of one percent of the land and air vertebrate biomass of the earth.Now they are 97 percent.’
    If the innumerable life forms becoming extinct at the hands of our rapacious species,could speak,it would be interesting to hear what they had to say about the unbearably lightweight posting above.,

  • Into Destiny, you exclaimed, “I agree with the notion that we are all spirit first, material second. I also agree that plants and non-human animals have spirit as well, in just the same way human animals do.”

    Kudos to you for letting your freak flag fly! I know I’m helping to produce ethanol too, we cant help it. But there is something else, spiritual, it can’t be put into words. Intuition’s gift, I’ve felt it since I was a kid, just like I’ve felt NTE for longer than I can remember. I’m gonna hold on!

    Bud Nye, I agree wholeheartedly! The slaughter of innocents is to be expected. Suffering dominates all wave lengths. Pray that the end comes soon! (and that no humans survive, not one!)

  • Millions of years of natural selection have provided us with an internal narration we use to interpret the world. However, as science has demonstrated over the last 450 years, our internal narration is nothing more than an illusion that has adapted us to an environment of cooperation, teamwork, mutual support, respect for others, empathy, and altruism.

    Reflect on the sum of self-sacrifice you went through to secure your occupation, obtain social status, parenting, etc. This is the result natural selection, no more, no less, the narration thing is a side-effect to strengthen the self-sacrifice.

    Now I have to ask, what would happen if average human (IQ 100) world-wide understood today what y’all seem to understand on NBL? My guess is that it would create a break-down in the naturally-selected social contract and result in world-wide pandemonium. Complete economic freeze-up as loan defaults force Lehman Bros style bankruptcy across the whole Western world debt-based financial system house-of-cards. Rampant crime of all types counterpointed with bacchanalian, ecstasy-fueled orgies. Every person concerned for their short-term welfare in an unforgiving world. For example, since the breakdown of society in Argentinian in 2001, 95% of adults have been confronted with burglaries and muggings.

    And that is just the start. So do you really want convince your neighbors what is coming?

  • @ Dora

    I may have this wrong, but I think that even though a few here may, I doubt that a very large percentage believe that they “know it” all. I think most of us think in terms of higher vs. lower probabilities, or very high vs. much lower probabilities, and often neglect to make that qualification in writing our opinions. At least that definitely applies to me. I almost always think in terms of probabilities regarding everything–including whether we will perceive a sun “rise” tomorrow–but out of neglect, or purposely to keep things as simple as possible, I often fail to emphasize that. If I claim that x will happen, I mean that I believe an extremely high probability exits that x will happen, AND I remain fully aware that no one can predict the future about anything with 100% certainty. I don’t think that this usually amounts to hypocrisy, which refers to insincerity or beliefs not supported by real conviction. Will you call me a hypocrite if I say, somewhat simplistically and quite inaccurately, that “We will experience a sunrise tomorrow morning”? I hope not. As fallible human beings–which definitely includes all of the world’s best “qualified” scientific experts!–we all just do the best we can with our present abilities and skills while “knowing” what we “know”.

  • Darryl Cherney with the late Judi Bari on fiddle-
    “Dead Ducks”

  • Quit worrying about methane. It only becoming a butterfly.

  • Per Muhammad Ali, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

  • Guy, I really enjoy your Climate Updates. The essay has really grown in-depth, and I just don’t see how its conclusion can be debated.

    As for THIS essay: Perhaps it’s not meant to be super-serious. It seems to be written with tongue in cheek, at least, I hope so….

  • Why can’t some humans see, and admit that that our physical world… already here…the one we are destroying… has all the beauty and spirit we seek.
    If you need unicorns and magical wings, then you’re not paying attention. The magic and mystery are already here. There is an alchemy in the physical that generates the spiritual.

    Mary Oliver knows:

    Listen says fox it is music to run
    over the hills to lick
    dew from the leaves to nose along
    the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
    ducks in their bright feathers but
    far out, safe in their rafts of
    sleep. It is like
    music to visit the orchard, to find
    the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
    rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
    is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
    writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
    be told. It is flesh and bones
    changing shape and with good cause, mercy
    is a little child beside such an invention. It is
    music to wander the black back roads
    outside of town no one awake or wondering
    if anything miraculous is ever going to
    happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
    moment’s miracle. Don’t think I haven’t
    peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
    making love, arguing, talking about God
    as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
    instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
    in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
    home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
    responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
    give my life for a thousand of yours.

    (My apologies for over posting, will do penance tomorrow.)

  • If we are all aspects of one Mind

    “We” are all biological automatons, meat-robots, just as all flowers are black (on a pitch-dark night). Flowers borrow from sunlight and appear to have colours. A mind borrows from the “Nothingness” and has its experience of awareness, unique to it and unexperienced by any other. Others’ similar experiences is an inference, a presumption, not a direct experience.

    a person who’s work involved attaining spiritual enlightenment

    Beware if water says it will “attain” wetness. And when the pot says it will “attain” clayness, or the fire says it will “attain” heat.

    Here were a group of people

    A group of marionettes. The strings, though vast universal sequences of cause and effect, are also finite, bounded by time and space.

    I think the analogy of yeast is a much better one.

    Indeed. And the yeasts, too, are marionettes.
    The difference is that all reflective media do not reflect awareness equally. The “human mind” seemingly is a particularly good one because of its associated property of speech. We just don’t know about whales and dolphins, Or the vast underground networks of fungus (mycelia) that can respond to all five modalities of human sensory input: maybe they have a keener intellect sans language.

    Until finally… in its unthinking, mindless drive to consume, replicate, and spread, the yeast destroys itself,

    Important point: some strains of this particular yeast try to protect themselves from their. environment, befouled as it is with their wastes, by building monolithic concrete domes. Sort of like fungal spores, which are thick-walled and protect the inhabitant from hell & high water for a long time. A technique optimised by nature over for fungi evolutionary time.

    people will resist any conceit, even the most logical, if it makes them feel bad about themselves.

    And not just conceits. Biological automatons, meat-robots, marionettes: they will not sit well with many.

    I love how so many of you seem to know it all! Ah, the hypocricy…

    Nothing is known until the knower is known.

  • ulvfugl Says:
    June 9th, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Garant Schreiburg asks :

    “Why the hell would I want to attract flies?”

    Um, so that they can lay eggs ? That will turn into small maggots, called larvae, which are the same thing as caterpillars, as they feast upon your decomposing flesh.

    And then, they pupate, and hatch out into beautiful new adult flies. It’s a miracle of nature.

    Without death, no life. See ?

    Ah. Not dead yet. Once I’ve passed my expatriation point and am no longer consuming quality goods while participating in capitalism, feel free to embalm me in honey — I won’t care. Until then, I would rather keep the various flies (especially the ones with human faces) off me.

    Not quiet ready to be singing that lovely refrain from The Book of Mormon: “I have maggots in my scrotum!”

    If Monsanto hasn’t figured out a way to kill everything before extinction, I have no objection to my corpse becoming a bee hive, rat nest, bird feeder, worm bin, flower pot.

    Rot where you drop. It’s a dream.

  • This and the last post have been great to read- the essays and especially the comments and links- hard to keep up.
    I have a few things to say. Attributing my comments to the respective commenter has just frazzled my brain, so apologies there.

    Here in Afraidia, a recent acknowledgement by some elders of Indigenous groups(there are many hundreds) is salient:
    Aboriginals in this land never traded, signed or ceded sovereignty. Since ‘Terra nullius’ was rejected by the High Court in the Crown Versus Eddie Mabo, many Elders have ‘realised’ they are still have their land.

    ‘Don’t sign your sovereign rights away, Aboriginal leader warns’


    I listened to an elder of the Cassowary group from Northern parts a few days ago. He told of telling 18 yo school ‘kids’ last year of the state trooper practice of poisoning the wells near roving tribal groups last 2 centuries. The kids were crying.

    For ulvfugl’s comments on what is going on in Ukraine, this is what some humans do to other humans who have little or no ‘value’. Been going on between human groups for many thousands of years.

    Australians Aboriginals are Matralinial, and elders who have power over their lands are Women.
    been doing reading on Celtic tribes.

    Putting it out there…..

    Patriarchy leads to tribal warfare, and fools older women who ‘had’ power to stop infanticide to keep within population dynamic limits that can be sustained on their watershed. During tough times watershaed sharing was also probable.
    Powerful women in tribal leadership, (by and large-caviet) share to stay within ‘Natural limits'(well defined here at NBL)
    Patriarchal leaders, men, basicly solve these limit problemsby taking others stuff(by and large) and once the infanticide spell is broken, and tribal numbers start to rise, the male warlords have a justifiable reason to keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep taking other people flora and fauna and waterholes, fishing rights etc.

    Civilisation is a larger extension of this ‘game’ gone mad.
    Every treasury official in an elected country…hell any country has to be a woman. Christian and civilised resistance to infanticide, and letting people die when they want to needs to go.
    Too late? Yes, but living till u die in an honourable way, yes with pretty wings too, is all there is.

    I built a fire a few nights ago, in one of those slow combustion heaters, which I am only getting to know how to use slowly, (pun good , yes?)
    Winter is late coming here at the top of the mountains, and this night was going to 4 or 5 C.
    No tin shack insulation, so I went the whole hog and built a fire. Finally understand how the contraption works, and had a low joule epiphany as I sat in this off grid uninsulated steel shack in the dark, sipping my vege soup.
    This was the night I heard the elder talk of the well poisonings, and other stories. Without going wobbly at the knees because I sat with an elder, I got to thinking about the fires the Indigenous People must have had. Not just how many-60,000 years worth or so- but also putting together my new-found understanding of fire management in a tin box, I saw it in one go.
    As I stacked the wood on the top, I had been watching the older logs disappear underneath- first by super-heating, then flaming when the gas comes out then slowly heating to red hot and shrinking under the other wood on to, which also went through the same process. It came to me that this is how the generations of humans go over time, giving up their energy-fire- to the younger generations, and they just go up into nothing. When I cleaned the fire out the next day it was almost empty, all gone up the chimney.
    The problem with most Moderns is we try to be immortal most of our life, hanging onto everything, pretending we don’t actually have to surrender ‘it’ when our moment comes.
    Elder women know this, especially those in the middle Millennias who buried many children for every one they raised to adulthood.
    But we do have to give it up, and the elders do it by redistributing all they have to their people as they age. Before massive numbers, they shared when they saw the need, as most intelligent people do.

    If we take the present problems seriously, and my view is those here at NBL do, we need to see how we got here, and not just with the view to a Technological history.
    Social organisation and the wisdom of living elders is going to bring the understanding we need.
    No illusions about ‘getting through the bottleneck’ or whatever survival protocol occurs.
    Just want to take the understanding with me.
    More that we have in common than different, even my dirty brown wings, are wings just the same.

    Heard a great inclusion story last week, about Bat, Wombat and Bird. But leave that for another post maybe.

    Guy, you need to get back in the discussion here, like the days just before I came in- I am sure that the discussion lifts some when you are here more…No?

  • Great to read all your posts about the little fable I wrote. Whether you loved it or hated it I appreciate you for reading and replying. Keep on being you, as we all live and die happily ever now.

  • Well, I am liking Guy better and better all the time. I see this bit of levity as direct retaliation to postings made by RE. I don’t know the guy, but I could not finish ONE of his articles. My time is precious little, so I rarely have a chance to read at NBL and was rather disappointed. Oh, well.

    Regarding the article and it’s question, “dared to ponder the grander questions, like what is it to be human?” In short, to be human is to suffer the perpetual overriding of the higher intellect by our basic biology, overwrought through history in the multitudes who have scratched out an existence on this planet, not to mention the non-humans. In all our striving and searching, we never get to find out ‘why?’ So we are slave to our emotional attachment to the search for meaning, continually setting long-term consequences into action, in service of fleeting emotions.

    I agree with Wren, the meaning is here all around us. Why is that never enough? “There is an alchemy in the physical that generates the spiritual.” Very beautiful and precise, Wren. You know, I didn’t really enjoy this essay at first, but it reminded me of a book the counselors gave me when my mom died of a drug overdose. It was called, “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf”, and I am still in possession of it. This butterfly allegory would be great for kids needing to understand impermanence and change, but possibly a little light for NBL.

    Well, I better go before I become offensive to any one. I’m just a little testy since some asshole weed whacked my plot of guerrilla gardening along the zombie house next door. ‘What is WRONG with people’ is something I say at least once a day, and I try to remain dedicated to the positive. The situation is DIRE people!!

  • Desdemona Despair’s blog is where all these links are from today.


    Something Is Seriously Wrong on the East Coast—and It’s Killing All the Baby Puffins

    Disappearing puffins, stray whales, invading sailfish: The North Atlantic is in a bad way. Here’s why.


    Southern California is already plagued by a crippling drought and wildfires.

    Now you can add a legion of seemingly unstoppable beetles to the list of threats facing the region’s forests.

    They’ve already invaded hundreds of tree species, and they are showing no signs of slowing down.

    “We have lost numerous trees,” said Jim Folsom, director of the Huntington Botanical Gardens outside of Pasadena, Calif.

    “On the property, in these 200 acres, we have over 700 species of large tree, woody tree. Of those, fully one-third, over 200 different kinds, different species of tree have proven to be invaded or impacted by this borer,” Folsom said.

    The polyphagous shot hole borer is a tiny, grain-sized beetle first discovered in the area two years ago.

    It drills a hole into the heart of the tree and deposits a fungus that it carries in its mouth. That blocks water and nutrients and in many cases kills the tree.

    “We have no known treatment,” Folsom said. “We have no capacity to fend it off.”

    University of California, Riverside, plant pathologist Akif Eskalen first discovered the pests in avocado trees.

    They have since spread to 280 different species in Southern California, and he fears they could be unstoppable. [a little more]


    Half of world’s forest species at risk

    Half of the world’s forest species are at risk from climate change and farming, the United Nations warned on Tuesday, as it called for “urgent action” to manage them better.


    Fewer polar bear cubs are being born in the Arctic islands, survey finds

    Rapid reduction of sea ice level due to climate change hitting population as hunting ground recedes


    The biosphere is rapidly fading. Huge world-wide fish die-off (and the Japanese still want to hunt the few remaining whales), crippling heat and long-term drought effecting crop yields, as does flooding in other areas as climate chaos ramps up, and as food becomes scarce we see more rioting by those most affected (and with nothing to lose) – all indicate the trajectory we’re on, and it isn’t toward rainbows and unicorns.

    In fact we’ve seen the huge loss of monarch butterflies due to habitat loss from climate change in recent years. The “don’t worry, be happy” message of Peter’s essay is fine, if that’s how you feel, but it’s disingenuous for me as starvation and death aren’t real pretty or fun, despite this authors optimistic attitude.

  • Cory Morningstar’s Expose on the 1C coverup:


    A bit dated at this point, but while the facts haven’t changed the consequences are becoming more apparent.

    Crimes against the community of life.

  • From the Jumping Jack Flash Hypothesis blog (lede story)

    2014-06-08 – Toxic gas hits coastal Rayong (Thailand), thousands sickened and evacuated:

    Quote: “Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes in Rayong’s Ban Chang district shortly past midnight and spend the night on a football pitch after smelling something like toxic gas. Children and the elderly suffered eye irritation and retching from what they suspected was a gas leak.”

    Note: Yeah, hydrogen sulfide and methane gas are leaking from the oceans, seas and lakes, so I guess you could call that a ‘gas leak’.

    Quote: “An investigation of the four industrial parks in the area found no source of the smell. A factory outside an industrial estate that was suspected of spreading the foul odour was found closed about a week ago for maintenance.”

    Note: So they couldn’t find the source. The factory that they wanted to blame has been closed for a week. Considering the symptoms, especially the eye irritation and vomiting, this sounds VERY MUCH like hydrogen sulfide blowing in off the ocean right onto this coastal area. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Coastal Kuwait City was told to shelter in place because of hydrogen sulfide, blamed on a leak from a gas well, mentioned in the 2012-10-17 update. That was the first time in human history that any major metropolitan area had ever been told to shelter in place because of hydrogen sulfide. On the island of Jamaica in 2013, dozens of people sickened and collapsed unconscious on the streets as ‘noxious fumes’ hit them, mentioned in the 2013-02-28 update. And of course there was the stinkfest in Southern California in late 2012 that was caused by hydrogen sulfide, blamed on emissions from the Salton Sea.

    This event is a harbinger of what’s to come…

  • Where do I find the major US newspaper headline that declares:

    This is NOT good.

  • See here an article about the collapse prediction of the co-author of The Limits to Growth, Dennis Meadows: http://energyskeptic.com/2014/dennis-meadows-collapse-is-inevitable-now-2015-2020/ . I do consider the reference to the self-contradictory, oxymoronic term “sustainable development” unfortunate. In my opinion, it was DOA, but that’s ancient history now.

  • Bud – But he did mention nitrogen and potassium cycles, not often heard around here.

  • The two 12 min. video interviews on Democracy Now of Steve Coll, about his new book, well worth the listen and underlines the INFLUENCE and relationship between (in this case Exxon/Mobil) corporations and the government (and therefore POLICIES) of the U.S. government.

    Please check it out for some good insight into the actions of U.S. on many levels including foreign policy, the environment and the (in this case PERSONAL) relationship that corporations can have on it all through lobbying, in the courts, and on (the great masses of uninformed) peoples’ minds regarding science and facts.

    I thought this worthy of my infraction of the 2 per day rule regarding comments.

    i’m a bit unclear about this rule anyway. If I only comment once per day for a while, or not at all for a week, can’t I say a little more once in a while in a few more posts of interest?

    Polite request:

    Can’t we just like average it out (say weekly or monthly for those who want to keep score) or something (and maybe leave it to each member to kinda police themselves, like now)?


    “New Speedway Boogie”

    Please don’t dominate the rap, jack, if you’ve got nothing new to say.
    If you please, don’t back up the track this train’s got to run today.
    I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill
    I heard someone say “Better run away”, others say “better stand still”.

    Now I don’t know, but I been told it’s hard to run with the weight of gold,
    Other hand I have heard it said, it’s just as hard with the weight of lead. [continues at the link]

  • forgot the links to the Democracy Now videos:

    and (part 2)

    (“aaah, sorry,” [cough] [sniffle],” walking off stage slump-shouldered and turning away)

  • @ dairymandave

    You point to a critical issue that many people remain unaware of. This article does not mention the essential fertilizer nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. I read Limits To Growth many years ago and do not recall whether they included peak fertilizer in their computer models. Related to this, Julian Cribb in his book, The Coming Famine (2010) has a chapter titled “Nutrients–The New Oil” in which he discusses peak fertilizer. In this chapter he stresses that “…the world is mining its scarce natural soil nutrients at an alarming rate–and has been doing so for centuries, even for thousands of years in some regions.” From the section on peak phosphorus: “A daunting question is: could the world’s fertilizer supplies ever run out? In 2007 the Canadian physicist Patrick Dery decided to apply the famous “peak oil”: theorem of M. King Hubbert to rock phosphate (figure 2). To his dismay, he found that the world had actually passed peak phosphate back in 1989!” Later: “Scarier still is the fact that, although there may be energy substitutes for oil or gas if supplies run low or become too expensive, there are no substitutes for phosphorus. It is fundamental to the chemistry that supports all forms of life. It is essential to crop and pasture growth. No phosphate, no food.” Meanwhile, almost all of the world’s nitrogen fertilizer is made form synthetic ammonia produced using natural gas, a process totally dependent on massive amounts of expensive and finite fossil fuels, now past peak.

  • Oz Man,

    The Nyahbingy (sp) tradition is to gather several times each year to mark key events. A fire with drumming and chanting (with movement–not exactly dancing) GOES ON NON STOP FOR THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS. (cap locks oops). So I could picture your fire experience. When we had a wood stove somewhere else, I was possessed by the activity around getting wood to burn. The scavenged wood from the fields were more precious, told more stories, than the cut wood we bought.


    Sad about all the trees. I just noticed that a leaf curl disease has taken over our ash trees. The curled-up leaves are full of sticky (very sticky!) sap. I’ll have to do some research, but this could be the end of trees I had been so proud of nurturing through drought.

  • Wren

    “There’s alchemy I the physical that generates the spiritual”

    Thanks for this! So beautifully put, there’s nothing to say.

    And thanks for the equally beautiful poem, I didn’t know it.

  • like butterflies? i don’t think so. as an insect analogy i’d have thought something such as termites would be far more appropriate. we are the swarming hordes of mammalia, undermining the very foundations of our existence. or maybe we are like locusts or leaf cutter ants. an uncountable seething plague of mindless consumers, devouring everything in our path so that… erm. no i can’t think of a reason. if we are a caterpillar, we are one that pupated and died and became something disgusting and putrefied inside an ugly shell, never to hatch out into anything beautiful. a failure of evolution.

  • Kirk: Thanks… I think?

  • @Bud Nye

    Interesting how we spread all the important stuff over the planet, and manage to pile up all the useless stuff in places like Fort Knox. As long as we need to collect energy from diffuse sources cheaply we end up losing them it seems. Tom’s do the Math blog had some critique on Georgescu Roegens entropy laws and some people made some interesting comments about the nature of entropy but I haven’t gotten around to reading up on it yet.

    It appears as if this bottleneck event isn’t limited to whatever line you’re just following, but a rather large number of them stacked beside each other on the inside wall of the bottle.

    The general story seems to be explained by non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and some popular book called “Into the cool” simplifies this into “nature abhors a gradient” so supposedly we come to life as gradient reduction devices. I just found an article criticizing it:


    The author basically argues that this simplified view doesn’t hold up to a more thorough investigation.

    The main thing with mineral resources is that large amounts of energy have been invested into unmixing them so they fit nicely into our scheme of categorizing them and using them in easy to understand ways (I’m playful here), the problem is that we cannot yet unmix them without having a net energy problem. I’m not sure whether the second law is in the way there too, I haven’t gotten that far yet, I got side tracked by our common waste problem causing climate change.

  • Going Out

    We sit around and we wait
    For doom, which we know is our fate;
    And since doom’s a state
    Which is not really great,
    Some will bail before it’s too late.

  • Bud Nye.

    Sustainable development means politicians and bureaucrats breaking up concrete and removing asphalt using hand tools and wheelbarrows in order to allow living systems to regenerate so that they can feed themselves.

    (Other people have fantasies so why can’t I?)

    Regarding NPK: Around here the essential nutrients required for the maintenance of life are quite plentiful; the problem is they get excreted by the human population on a daily basis and get quickly transported to the sea by council-operated systems that require massive inputs of energy and which cause the production of massive amounts of greenhouse gases. The supply of water and treatment of sewage is by far the biggest item of expenditure in NPDC’s budget, exceeding even the salary total for overpaid nincompoops who organise things and refuse to ever consider alternatives to their insane schemes focused on ‘sustainable development’, which DO feature items such as art galleries, hotels and airport upgrades etc.

    I’m waiting for the cloud that came with the current warm wet weather to clear to see whether there is ANY snow on the mountain (it now being winter here).

  • No, Into Destiny, I thank you. I wasn’t very clear, sorry. Making gentle efforts regarding spirit is a good thing.

    Wren, you too. Thanks. It doesn’t really matter to me anymore what people believe. I do know that if more people were as gentle and sweet as you, this world would be a better place.

  • Don Key

    You want fries with that?

  • #612. Loss of empathy and other important stuff.


  • Badlands- so good to ‘see’ your voice again! I think about you often and hope you are well. Many thanks to you (and ulvfugl too) for helping me articulate my thoughts over time.

    Sad to hear that your guerilla garden was weedwhacked, and hard to understand the motivation behind it…. I hope you have the time and seeds to try again. Among the many things that apall me lately is the fact that anyone … Anyone …. can buy and use roundup at their own discretion. No wonder the bees are dying along with everything else. The tomatoes I had growing along my back fence – which was a perfect south facing growing environment with built in trellising – were just saturated in herbicide by my neighbor, who wanted to tidy things up. Sigh.

    I am becoming more and more disillusioned with the dominate species, if that is even possible. I became convinced that communal living was something way beyond my abilities or desires after attending a cob building workshop at an intentional community, and sitting in on over 3 hours of ‘required attendance’ consensus meeting during which nothing -Nothing- was decided. What color should we paint the floor of the communal kitchen? Who gives a fuck? Life’s too short for this shit. I fled back to the solitude of my mountaintop, which was my home at the time.

    Sabine- For me the question of “the chicken or the egg” / “spirit or matter” has ‘solidly’ come up on the side of the Physical. It’s not a matter of denying the existence of magic, quite the contrary, it expands the definition, while making life itself all the more precious. (Mescalito told me this long ago :) ….) Then recently I had surgery- the most interesting part was the anesthesia – during which I ceased to exist and did not care! Yea!! It was fantastic. My spirit did not go elsewhere, it simply ceased to exist for awhile. I’m still trying to figure it all out.

    Ahh, the poet Mary Oliver is my north star these days. I have a friend who knows her. She is Very reclusive and can be extremely unpleasant to anyone intruding on her solitude… but who wouldn’t be? I just love her, and am so glad she’s out there in her world sending back poems.

    Kirk- thank you. My reputation in the ‘real’ world is one of being a gentle and sweet ball buster with good manners!!
    Btw, I have copied and saved a few of your quotes. I would like to use one on the beach art forum along with a painting if that’s okay.

    Grant- “When I die
    don’t bury me deep,
    just lay me down
    on the compost heap.”
    And more childhood summer camp memories regarding butterflies, parasitic wasps, and pupating:
    “The worms crawl in..”

    In a few days the sun will be directly over the tropic of cancer.
    Happy summer/winter (depending on your hemisphere) everyone!

  • Tom.

    Thanks for the DN links. Confirmation of our worst suspicions.

    The climate-related carnage continues:

    ‘Powerful winds have taken out trees, powerlines and roads in the North Island – and left 60,000 homes still without power.

    Gusts of up to 131km/h blasted Auckland overnight on Tuesday, while winds of up to 145km/h were recorded on the Whangaparoa Peninsula, where a child was taken to hospital with minor injuries after a tree fell through a roof.

    Winds up to 170km/h were recorded at Tiritiri lighthouse on Hauraki Gulf, MetService’s John Law told NZ Newswire.’


    (mild by some standards by nevertheless occurring with greater frequency)

    We got off lightly here (again). I feel sure we [in North Taranaki] are going to get caught some day but so far it has been the north and the east that have been repeatedly hit, with a few wallops on the east coast of the S.I.

  • Wren, I’m humbled and delighted. Please feel free to quote me.

    I’m having a blast at the Forum. The Beach Art is attracting a lot of cool work. Doom Chuckle and the rest are a real hoot.
    Someday I’d like to start a thread there for posting changes we see around our own little worlds. For me and a lot of people the lack of insects is freaking us out. Trees are hurting. A little thing I’ve noticed recently is the almonds in my Planter’s Deluxe Mix have shrunk to the size of peanuts. Likely the CA drought. They used to be the biggest almonds out there.

    Will be away from the keyboard for awhile. Heading for Frisco and points north to breathe some fresh ionizing radiation and watch starfish melt. If I glow in the dark when I get back, I’ll let you know!

    Tootles! (Rot where you drop! HAHAHAHAHA!!!)

  • Artleads

    The fire thing….I hear you.

  • All Along The Sunflower

    “There must be some decent beer in this place,”
    Said the caterpillar to the leaf,
    “There’s too much interference, I can’t get no TV.
    Philosophers – they waste my time
    but my SUV digs the earth
    got no beer? I’ll drink this wine
    But I just can’t see its worth.”

    “No reason to get excited,”
    The leaf – he blandly spoke,
    “There are many here among us
    Who feel that butterflies are a joke
    But you and I we’ve been through that
    And flight is not your fate
    So let us not arse wisely now
    The doom is getting late.”

    All along the sunflower
    Insects crept out of view
    Of the caterpillars with no shame
    And away from the butterflies too
    Down into the inside distance
    A sleeping cat did zen
    Attack puppies were approaching
    And hungry tummies began to growl, hey!

  • Don`t beat yourselves up folks , Even the universe will end some day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWXUgltnDQ4
    and this

    at best this ?!

  • mo flow, fantastic! Now I want to hear the scream of the butterfly. :D

  • thanks, BtD. :)

  • When capitalism is in crisis, war is always an imminent danger. History shows us this to be case. The two biggest conflagrations ever, the First and Second World Wars – claiming total deaths of around 80 million – were both presaged by economic collapses in the capitalist system.

    This is what makes the present juncture in international relations so disturbing. The American-centered capitalist system is once again choking to death from deep social malaises of poverty, unemployment, vast income inequality, and with that, stagnation in the productive economy. The tendency, as in the previous depressed economic times of the early 1900s and 1930s, is to go to war in a desperate act of “creative destruction”. Rationally and morally perverse, war nevertheless makes logical sense to the capitalist system as a way of clearing its choking contradictions. Depraved, yes to be sure, but that’s the ineluctable logic of the profit system.

    One illustration of how deeply in crisis the capitalist system has once again become is the story of fake towns that the Pentagon is building across America. These towns are being used to train the US army in techniques of “urban warfare”. One such place was recently reported as newly opened as a training facility in the state of Virginia. The “model town” took six years to plan and two years to build at a total cost of $96 million, according to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph…

    The Pentagon facility, covering 300 acres, is a replica of other cities that one might typically find across the US. It has residential houses with gardens, schools, places of religious worship, a sports stadium, banks, and even a five-storey embassy. The replica town has also been built with an underground subway and train station, complete with real, working trains.



  • I want to start by apologizing for my violation of the two-post rule yesterday, which Guy clarified on the last thread. i’ll try using the forum from here on out when I find too much stuff to post or have too much to say.

    What a great bunch we have here on the beach: creative, funny, deadly serious, spiritual (along the zen lines), physical, artistic, math and science based, logical, depressed, and impressive (and much more).

    Thanks everyone.

    I enjoy reading the comments here every day and feel I’ve come to know some of you because of it.

    This is from 2010


    Exposé | The 2º Death Dance – The 1º Cover-up


    If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

    Behind every tragedy there is a story. This story is non-fiction and begins in the 1980’s. It involves the Rockefeller funded Villach conferences, the entrance of the neoclassical economists, propaganda, and most importantly the disappearance of the 1ºC temperature threshold cited as the safe limit in 1990 by the United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases.

    Like so many stories there was a villain. In this story, the villain’s name was ‘Insatiable Greed’ – like the Agent Smith virus, uploaded into ‘the Matrix’, Insatiable Greed was a terminating virus capable of multiplying.

    Insatiable Greed was warned by the United Nations working group that “ beyond 1ºC there might be “rapid, unpredictable and non-linear responses that could lead to extensive ecosystem damage.” He was also warned that a 2ºC increase was “viewed as an upper limit beyond which the risks of grave damage to ecosystems, and of non-linear responses, are expected to increase rapidly.” Non-linear in this case means runway climate change.

    Earth and her inhabitants would clearly be threatened if the 1ºC threshold was to be exceeded. However, Insatiable Greed, did not listen. Insatiable Greed dismissed the wise advice – only interested in knowing how much further destruction could be continued before the Earth would reach her maximum limit where catastrophe would be unavoidable. Being the virus he was, Insatiable Greed used the tools available to successfully infect and multiply – effectively burying the initial warning of 1ºC, thus ensuring the Earth’s inhabitants would believe the extremely dangerous threshold of 2ºC would be safe. This is the story. [read it if you haven’t and are interested]

  • @Grant…..”rot where you drop”. My new mantra. So glad I wasn’t sipping coffee at that precise moment! Thanks for the laugh. You’ve been on fire lately.

  • If interested, two comments I posted at Fractal Planet, plus other comments:


    Landbeyond, you wrote: “He uses the clathrate gun as his main prop for his imminent human extinction claim.” and “…GM has become fundamentally dishonest, and should have no role in the climate change conversation.”

    MAJOR correction: McPherson’s “…main prop for his imminent human extinction claim…” lies NOT in “the clathrate gun” as you erroneously represented (with purposeful, conscious intent?), but in the COMBINATION of many, global-scale ecological collapse processes + global warming (which includes the clathrate gun among MANY OTHER processes) + nuclear collapse + rapid, significant, additional interior continental warming that will occur soon after much of our industrial economy collapses. The clathrate gun plays a role in only one of these many, chaotically complex, reciprocally interacting, global-scale processes. One might quite reasonably argue that “It is fundamentally dishonest for you to misrepresent him in such a grossly over-simplistic, inaccurate, and unscientific way.” Realizing this then suggests that perhaps, by your own reasoning and words regarding such alleged dishonesty, YOU “…should have no role in the climate change conversation.” But, you may say, “We wish, here, to remain simplistically and exclusively focused on global warming!” “Fine! Wonderful!” I say. “Argue about the evidence related to various aspects of global warming and its interpretation all you wish!” But this does NOT give you license very UNscientifically, blatantly, and disrespectfully to misrepresent other’s arguments regarding the developing mass human die-off and probable human extinction while maintaining your way over-simplified, obsessive focus only on global warming with respect to these die-off issues, as many here seem to believe it does. An Einstein quote relates directly to this and to reductionist thinking in general: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but NOT SIMPLER.”

    This also reminds me of a quote by Thomas Elpel and Kris Reed in their new book, Foraging The Mountain West (2014) that applies in many deep, subtle and not-so-subtle ways: “The most common error in plant identification is our natural tendency to see what we want to see. Anyone who has navigated the backcountry with a topographic map has experienced this phenomenon. Matching the landscape to the map is skewed by the desire to find the answer. The answer may be found with great confidence, but that doesn’t always make it right. Fortunately, precision is often not required, and it doesn’t matter if you are on one side of a hill or another.”



    In response to Glomerol’s comment: “Seems we did quite well, even better, without science for most of our evolution.” you responded: “I will never argue that ignorance is preferable to knowledge.” So, anyone who does not use science is presumably ignorant? No elitist arrogance here, is there? Clearly, your statement comes directly from the naïve and erroneous idea that only science can produce useful knowledge. Based on this “reasoning”, how do you account for humans not just surviving, but often thriving for almost two million years–without science, and without killing the planet in the process? I will not argue that ignorance is preferable to knowledge, either and I have a strong preference for natural science, but, unlike you, I WILL argue that humans obviously ALSO have a number of valid, functional ways of learning about and living in the world besides natural science. Meanwhile, just as Glomerol suggests, the negative consequences of science and technology on the future survival of humans, the survival of other species, and the survival of Earth itself strongly suggest that those other methods may well have superiority over natural science.


    I agree completely. Excellent book review. Thanks! I will definitely read it. Related directly to all of this, if you have not read him you will find the work of the late systems ecologist, Howard Odum, who studied energy in ecosystems, critically important. Perhaps the best, single book for a good introduction is: Environment, Power, and Society For The Twenty-First Century, The Hierarchy of Energy (2007). In my opinion, Howard Odum, along Ilya Prigogine’s chaos theory, proves absolutely essential for anyone with any interest in ecological and global warming issues. David Holmgren says that he and Bill Mollison developed their permaculture based largely on Odum’s work.

    @kevin moore

    I do love your fantasy! Cracked me up.

  • “Unfortunately, ‘we the people’ have become so trusting, so gullible, so easily distracted, so out-of-touch, so compliant and so indoctrinated on the idea that our government will always do the right thing by us that we have ignored the warning signs all around us, or at least failed to recognize them as potential red flags.”

    I have no proof, but suspect that humans find it hard to distrust what humans in authority tell them. And that they understand better what happens to the land. I believe average people can more understand–if they are informed–that all development is suspect. That means new roads, shoulder repairs, new lanes, new shopping malls, new “towns.” Maybe we have some latent but visceral attachment to the land as a mother that it is not near impossible to awaken.

    I suspect that it is better to go bold. Like advocating “no development at all.” Not that we can or should try to stop something so pervasive. But we can withhold our support for it. If that is done at sufficiently large scale, it ought to matter.

    The same principle may apply to war. People can simply quietly withdraw their support for it. I know I have been quite blind and sanguine about the ramifications of war. So if I can change my mind, many ordinary people can perhaps do likewise. It does not require protests or roadblocks. It simply requires, preliminarily, a lot of people refusing to any longer *believe* that war is inevitable, practical or reasonable. The rest will follow. I suspect that that TPTB are fueled and fortified by what average people believe.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • mo flow, that was seriously incredible! I tackled that song several times and never even began to come out with anything like you did! Simply amazing!

    We Can’t All Get Along

    Simple tribes in which we used to dwell
    Evolved a hate-other-tribes spell;
    For a while, that worked fine,
    But now races combine,
    And it doesn’t work out quite as well.

  • ha! oh yeah, when I first got the inspiration to try it last night, I copied over the lyrics, took a stab at the first couple of lines, and then thought “no way! this is so not going to work.”

    but I couldn’t let myself stop. took another stab here and another there, and then I felt like “hey, this might really work!” and then it all fell together.

    thanks again. honestly, man, you were just as much an inspiration to me as Jimi to actually attempt this and stick with it to get something good. I have been so much loving what you have been doing the last few months – I’ve wanted to tell you that several times.

  • If you go to the two-year graph at this site you will note that recent CO2 levels differ from a year ago in that there is no distinct peak and fall; indeed, at the moment there is a ‘bumpy plateau’ above 400ppm. As with so many other factors, we will have to keep an eye on it and wee what happens over the coming weeks.


  • To BVinVT

    “Yeastie Beastie!” Love that name! Imagine a beer joint or pub named the “Yeastie Beastie”

    Isn’t there some kind of religion whose God is the vintner? or the Meister Brauer?

    How many religions believe that “Spirits” are a gift of the Gods?
    Reality has a bad reputation. It can make people do unpleasant things to other people to “get even”. Better to wait to turn into a butterfly. Or a Tse-tse fly. Fairy tales, good or evil spirits, mankind has always strayed from the mean streets of reality. The Bard, the Harpist, the wandering minstral, all have been favored in countless societies & civilizations. Superman, Batman had their day not too long ago. Chemicals, drunk, inhaled, will still be waiting…

  • mo flow, thank you so very much! Yes, I try to keep at them until the point where I start making them worse. (A lot of them never work out at all.) And yes, sticking with it is the secret to improvement.

    I saw Jimi once, stood right in front of the stage actually. New constantly changing musical ideas were flying out of him in all directions, ideas which flew me way off on long whirls through outer space and eventually back again. Over and over.

    Come to think of it, that was a pretty good concert.

    Speak To Us Of Humor

    “There are many,” the Doomer then spoke,
    “Who think that doom’s just a joke;
    But the hour’s late, see?
    So expect them to be
    Competely surprised when they croak.”

  • Link mentioned in comment so many moons ago. An on-line synopsis of the book by the authors:

    http://www.intothecool.com“>Into the Cool

    and wee what happens over the coming weeks.

    More likely crap than wee.

  • After the live event, the episode Gary Null Show will be posted to this feed, which can be plugged into iTunes or any other podcast client to hear the recorded version.

  • @ogardener

    Speaking of the ‘g’ word, here’s the next thing that comes to mind…
    Hey badlands, at least y’all can dance to parts of this. :-)

  • ‘The ‘King of Coal’ Threatens to Sue EPA For Lying About Climate Change’


    The largest independent producer of coal in the U.S. insists that climate change is a lie, and he’s threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency to make it shut up.

    Robert Murray, the founder of Murray Energy, says that the EPA’s assertion that climate change exists violates the U.S. Data Quality Act, which requires government agencies to use only objective informational input to form its opinions. Murray asserts that the EPA’s new regulations on carbon emissions from existing coal plants violates the Act, saying the agency has lied about the existence of global warming to justify the regulations. Murray insists that the Earth is actually cooling. ”

    Yeah cooling ….

  • OzMan;

    I’ve linked this before and used the first part in my presentation to NPDC but it bears repetition and seems to be the best response to Murray Energy.

  • Old King of Coal was a nasty old soul
    And a nasty old soul was he;
    He called up his lawyers, and he called up the network TV –
    I guess we all know about Old King of coal…

    H/T G.Carlin

  • https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140608152726.htm

    Warming climates intensify greenhouse gas given out by oceans

    Date: June 8, 2014

    Source: University of Edinburgh

    Summary: Rising global temperatures could increase the amount of carbon dioxide naturally released by the world’s oceans, fueling further climate change, a study suggests. Scientists studied a 26,000-year-old sediment core to find out how the ocean’s ability to take up atmospheric CO2 has changed over time, and found that when silicon was least abundant in ocean waters corresponded with relatively warm climates, low levels of atmospheric iron, and reduced CO2 uptake by the oceans’ plankton.

    Guy, the apocadocs noticed the Summary (and the continuing updates):


    Guy McPherson Sings Sad Songs without Solace

  • I’ve posted the latest essay from Geoffrey Chia, and it’s here. Also, I’ll be interviewed by Gary Null shortly after 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time in the U.S., and the link is here.

  • Kevin M

    Yes, a great satirical snippet.
    Funny how the straight faced rendition of an absurd proposition always tweaks our funny-bone, but leaves a bad taste in the mouth because we were initially suckered by the framing-we began to believe the proposition just on the sounds, sights and respectability of the ‘actors’, then we hear the words and get the punch.
    That’s how advertising and politics does the bread and butter of their trade…..lie convincingly.