A Large Helping of Humble Pie, New Rules, and Cosmos Commentary

From Edward Abbey comes this line: “Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”

The latest essay in this space stirred too much. The stew was pummeled into a gooey mass, the individual parts no longer distinguishable. That’s my fault. I have removed the most offensive portions of the essay.

In my haste to return a professional favor to Geoffrey Chia, and also in my ongoing desire to facilitate the types of discussion not found elsewhere, I failed to review Chia’s latest essay in sufficient depth. As a result, his essay included many examples of the type of discussion I specifically revile: libel, vitriol, and ad hominem statements. The blogosphere is repleted with this kind of nonsense, and I’m frequently on the receiving end. As a consequence, I know it’s neither needed nor appreciated here.

I apologize specifically to Frank Kling, who apparently was the subject of libel. Chia has not provided evidence to counter the claim of libel. I apologize also to Chia’s “WACKOs.” Even though I agree with most of Chia’s observations, his language is inappropriate for this space.

In general, I’m tired of the ongoing misogynistic, racist, and ad hominem statements, as well as accusations unsupported by evidence. I’m one short step away from terminating comments to any essay posted here.

Comments are allowed, for now, but if a comment is offensive to any person, it will be removed and the abuser’s time commenting in this space will be short. Well-known public figures are exempt, of course: You are encouraged to offend the dominant culture and its figureheads.


Cosmos Commentary

by Bob Boldt

The way Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos climate-change episode opened with the cautionary tale of a planet in the throes of runaway greenhouse, I thought we were in for a sobering episode. Many scientists have given up on any strategy for saving civilization. They already believe we are circling the drain and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it. Then I remembered I was watching MSM and Fox. A startling “reality show” of this kind would never be allowed on the air, at least not on that venue.

Of course the program said nothing of the kind: quite the opposite. In fact Neil’s outlook concerning our hopes for pulling all nine billion of us out of our self-induced crapper is sheer Pollyanna. I almost threw up at his ending for so many reasons it would be hard and nauseating to make a complete list.

Watching the ending shots under the swelling saccharine music amid all the Greening of Amerikan cities I thought I was in Orlando, Florida! Pure Disney Imagineers. I half expected to see Jiminy Cricket hopping from one terraformed rooftop to another singing “When you wish upon a star.”

In my estimation, Neil is really wrong on this one. Even if you agree with him, he should have gone into a little more detail as to just how formidable our disastrous outlook is. Neil seems oblivious to the fact that technology can cut two ways. Many do not buy that the same technology that condemned us can be turned around and used to save us — at least without some pretty draconian sacrifices that NO one is willing or able to make. He ignores the growing scientific opinion that we have already passed the climate point of no return and we will be very lucky if we can escape the extinction of all higher life forms on the planet. Our pernicious civilization has bought the proverbial one way ticket to Palookaville — or Venus!

Just because today is a lot like yesterday doesn’t mean tomorrow will be anything like today.


Filmmaker, writer, artist and retired commercial film producer, Bob Boldt is a graduate of Wabash College with a degree in psychology. He also studied art and film making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a news cameraman, he covered the Chicago Freedom Movement campaign of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention.

Boldt presently lives in Jefferson City, Missouri, where he pursues diverse activities such as poetry, community gardening, still photography, and video production. An avowed atheist, he is a practicing Buddhist and a member of the local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.


McPherson was interviewed by Gary Null on Thursday, 12 June 2014. Catch it here, starting at the 33-minute mark.


Audio from McPherson’s 6 February 2014 presentation in Winnipeg is available, thanks to Michael Welch. It’s here, and it includes a few minor errors, corrected for subsequent presentations. Accompanying Powerpoint file is here, in pdf form. Ten minutes’ worth of Q & A begins shortly after the 49-minute mark.

Comments 80

  • thanks, Guy. cook on!

    I think it would be a good idea to delete comments that cross a line that you think have been crossed, and I would encourage you to do so. some of the initial comments to Carolyn’s last essay were so ad hominem and just plain mean I could not believe it. I wouldn’t blame her if she never wanted to publish here again – but I strongly encourage more from her in this space!

    at the same time, I don’t see any reason to disagree with those who think ideas like Carolyn’s are just way off, and they should be able to express that somehow. that kind of diversity and honesty is what makes this place work so well.

    but the people, specifically people who seem to be driven by some kind of unhealed rage and just don’t know how to manage it – such as G. Spezio calling Carolyn’s thinking “cruel” and “utterly foul” and more… this kind of thing just crosses a line, imo.

    it’s a tough thing. I don’t envy anybody trying to figure out where to draw a line. but it could be helpful to actually enforce something.

  • “I don’t see any reason to disagree with those who think ideas like Carolyn’s are just way off”

    sorry – meaning I don’t see any reason with to disagree with their *right to post* here about why they may think Carolyn’s ideas are way off – sticking with attacking the ideas as you mention. personally, I totally resonate with everything Carolyn says.

  • Tough job, riding herd on blog comments these days. I fully understand why you might choose to curtail the comments, but I hope you won’t do that.

    In spite of the negatives, I enjoy most of the comments and learn a lot, sometimes from people who piss me off.

    I admire the people who post, every one of them, regardless of the POV. It takes a lot of grit to post here, knowing the comments will be unrelenting. I understand why some posters give the comments a pass.

    I haven’t seen the new Cosmos show, having given TV a pass for a few years now, but I heard the buzz. I never expect anything except distortion from that medium, so I’m not surprised it’s falling shot of telling the real story.

  • mo flow: i’d be content if people would just stick to the science and stop all the meaningless crap that has nothing to do with anything going forward. I can see someone taking Guy to task for whatever predictions, analysis or fact checking, but do it based on the data!

    For example, commenters routinely chide Guy for his seemingly “impossible” stance on NEAR term extinction – like right around the corner kind of near, less than 20 years! People think it’s unrealistic, but i’m one of the WACKOS who reached the same conclusion and feel that nobody will survive the 2020s.

    When one examines all the converging problems, to me it seems like even that may be too far off, but i’ll stick with my timeline until shown otherwise – and I sincerely hope i’m so far off as to look foolish. i’d really like to be entirely wrong – like this whole thing is just a bad dream. Unfortunately there’s just too much mounting evidence indicating that the collapse has begun and the really bad times are rapidly approaching.

    I’ve really been enjoying your comments.

    Guy: pulling the plug on comments (hey with “friends” like Martin, who needs enemies?), deserved as it may be, would be detrimental to the whole point of the blog. Many of us seek clarification, look at things differently and want guidance or to be shown where we’re off by others and yourself. This would not be possible without some form of commenting – even if all comments had to go through the forum.

    I respect and admire your ability to allow all commenters (within reason) and let dialogue progress. I learn a lot from all these people, disagree with some, and wonder wtf others are about, but enjoy it all. My only gripe is when we get bogged down in nonsense like we just went through that has nothing to do with the subject of the blog. We’re not here to choose sides. It’s not a game. Nobody is going to win. If some like Mr. Chia have gripes about the science or the “connecting of the dots” then that’s fair game. Going after us WACKO commenters is just a waste of time. We’re all fairly nuts living this way after all – so who’s calling who what?

    There’s so much going on now – emergent diseases, melting ice, Fukushima and the crashing ocean ecology, climate change and food shortages, the looming El Nino, rising gas prices (and therefore everything else too), economic meltdown, political maneuvering, the IPCC and the rest of the things concerning the collapse and our predicament. Lots of good topics to cover while we still have an internet. i’d rather us not waste precious time on Diner domes, life-styles of the haves in Ecuador (or on a boat in the tropics), or ranting about each other. There’s too much important information that we’re ignoring.

    Why don’t we get some in-depth reporting or commenting (like a Beckwith presentation or something by Robert Scribbler) on some of these issues to examine and skip all the “feel-good” horse hockey?

    [You’ve seen Scribbler’s site: most of the commenters contribute something (esp. CO Bob, but even G. Spezio has put up a few good links) or ask intelligent questions which get answered rather quickly by other commenters or the host. They don’t have or need a two-post rule because the topic is specific and those interested take it where it goes.]

    Thanks again Guy for this amazing, unique site. It’s evolving through time. Whatever you decide, I enjoy visiting, commenting and learning from you all. Though I wouldn’t blame you if you shut it down, it’s one of the best and it would be a terrible loss.

  • Tom –

    stop all the meaningless crap, like butterflies and surrender, that has nothing to do with science? feel free to skip right past it, if it really bothers you, I suppose.

    I skip a lot of the science these days, because it is all saying the same thing, just worse than before, with each new iteration. it is not terribly interesting, in more than a passing way, to me any more. I am actually pretty sure what is coming in “the science” – meaning reality – is going to blow the pants off of even some of the most pessimistic around here.

    it is pretty obvious this blog is about a lot more than the science behind NTHE.

    (I will use the rule that says my first post and the edit to my first post immediately afterwards was actually *one* post. that is a rule, right? :) )

  • “I’ve really been enjoying your comments.”

    and thanks! I always enjoy yours as well. (I need to invoke yet another invisible rule to cover my ass here, uh oh…)

  • Tom

    I was always under the impression that Guy created the site to both communicate the science and foster discussion on how to manage it emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, etc. For me, that’s what makes it unique. I have been helped in many ways by ideas/words posted here. Often they have nothing to do with the science or even the essay.

    mo flow

    Is there a difference between Carolyn’s thinking and Carolyn’s ideas?

  • Guy, you made a mistake, and in doing so demonstrated you are human. All humans make mistakes.

    You admitted your mistake and took appropriate action. A lot of humans fail to do that, and attempt to cover their mistakes by lying, manipulating, blaming others, and bully etc. Such people tend to rise in the world of business and politics. As you quoted, scum rises to the top.

    Having gone through the censorship thing at Collapse of Civilisation a couple of months ago, and having letters to the editor containing vital information blocked by ‘the system’, I am not in favour of censorship. Indeed, the openness of the site allows the true character of people to be revealed. The Chia debacle was clearly a one-off thing which will never arise again.

    I, and others, broke the ‘two comments rule’. I have thought for a long time that two comments could be overly restrictive, particularly if an on-going conversation is underway to clarify or elaborate on points made. There was a time (3-7 years ago) when everything seemed to flow along nicely, other than for the presence of a few trolls.

    I have taken to breaking rules on a fairly continuous basis lately, riding my bike on pavements when there is no hazard to pedestrians (no pedestrians), sneaking past red lights on left turns, and pushing the boundary of what I could get away with in NPDC meetings. I see nothing wrong with such actions now that I know the entire system is predicated on lies and fraud, and is run by liars and incompetent fools for the short-term benefit of opportunists.

    As for Cosmos, well the days of honesty in the western media vanished in the 1980s, didn’t they? (not long after Jimmy Carter declared that Americans would have to change their ways, though Eric Blair said he never read a newspaper report that was accurate long before then.)

  • “… if a comment is offensive to any person,”

    I’m constantly offended with myself,thinking that I’m smarter than I am when I know otherwise. rofl

  • “… if a comment is offensive to any person,”
    … or Woman:

  • @Guy, Witnessing the chaos of the last couple of days on NBL I got this sinking feeling that you might decide to pull the plug on comments. My gut reaction to such an action is that it would be a mistake. Even though I too find the nauseating ad hominim attacks unacceptable, I keep seeing the image of babies and bath water being emptied out of an old tub onto the ground.

    I don’t often post a comment even though I have been coming the this site for a couple of years. One of the reasons that I don’t often post a comment is that I don’t usually have much to contribute to the discussion. The other reason is that I am too easily offended. [My advice to myself: Toughen up kid. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.]
    I will gladly put up with any emotional discomfort it it means people are ‘real’. Our society has crammed us into these PC boxes then fill them with smoke and mirrors. We are taught that real emotions like anger and despair are pathology which must be treated with numbing pharmaceuticals.

    What we all face as humans can foster genuine anger and send us into bouts of despair. This is not a drill. I see the general level of tension rising in my own community. To most of my friends and neighbors it is something which they could not articulate or even recognize. But it’s there. We need a platform on which we can begin to articulate our personal drama. What spills out at times is what we witnessed with the Chia post. It is important for us to be able to access and purge our inner demons

    [I look at what I just wrote and suddenly have no idea what it means. That’s what feed-back is for.

  • You should post more often buz.

  • Bud, what you say seems about right. Thanks.

    “In general, I’m tired of the ongoing misogynistic, racist, and ad hominem statements, as well as accusations unsupported by evidence.”

    IMO, we’re all racist, but Guy might wish to be more clear as to what he’s referring with the use of this term.

  • I liked the Edward Abbey quote. Here’s another :

    “At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour.”

  • Freedom speech means freedom to express foolish, ignorant, offensive things. I may not agree with what you say, but I defend to the death my right to mock you mercilessly for saying it.

    But this is your sandbox, Guy. Do what you think is best.

  • Hi MO FLOW,

    I am remiss for failing to extend my sincerest thanks for serving as a voice of reason and compassion.

  • This is not about freedom of speech. It’s about freedom from having our time wasted by nonsense.

    I think that maybe the question that remains to be decided by the readers of this site is “am I willing to participate here in thoughtful, compassionate, adult discourse with others who get it? Or will I be one of the sandlot bullies, throwing sand in the faces of those I disagree with?”

    Are “misogynistic, racist, and ad hominem statements, as well as accusations unsupported by evidence” going to continue? If so, will their perpetrators be banned? Or as Grant says:
    allowed to be “mocked mercilessly” by everyone else? It’s apparently what he’d prefer.
    Personally, I find it a waste of time.

    Spazio’s many frequent “misogynistic, racist, and ad hominem statements, as well as accusations unsupported by evidence” went for a long time without restraint. And look where it’s gotten us. Wasting time because someone got confused and didn’t have restraint.
    Confusion abounds when terrible behavior goes unpunished. People start thinking it’s okay to state “misogynistic, racist, and ad hominem statements, as well as accusations unsupported by evidence.” Precedents are set and you have a mess on your blog/hands.

    I believe that we are able to look out for each other. If we choose to. We’ve done it before.
    Because we care about each other.
    What is offensive may not be as clear to some, as it is to others, and one person’s offensive fart joke, is another’s bright moment in an otherwise dull day. So trying to define “offensive” for people who enjoy the mud wrestling is wasting time. IMO.

    In general I feel like we (most of us) can agree to be respectful, kind and thoughtful in our comments. We are, after all, on the same team. Right?

    Maybe we can use this guideline:
    If you wouldn’t say it to your mother, don’t say it.
    We can challenge ourselves to be creative in our discourse without being jerks.

    And if we have unresolved rage, we can go outside and have a run.
    Let’s not waste each others’ time with our unresolved rage.
    Let’s try to be exceptional humans as the lights go out. As Peter Melton always challenges us to do.

  • Pauline,

    In light of recent and current events, don’t you think we could do with a few less exceptional humans and encourage more excellent humans? Something about being exceptional seems to bring out the worst in people.

  • I am of the opinion that deGrasse, like so many other ‘pay per view’ Pop Culture scientists, is not so much saying that technology or science will save us, but that capitalism will save us.
    Science and Tech will save whoever can pay for it.

    As for the whooplah over trolling, I enjoy a good dust up sometimes and don’t think Guy should change a thing here. This is one of the most unique blogs on this topic I’ve seen and I enjoy the wide variety of posts from everyone. Please don’t let this turn into some kind of weird echo chamber. :D

  • Why are we so good at these fallacies and so poor at logic?


  • Speaking of Pie, don’t miss the latest FOOD RANT!  I hit on everybody from Fat People to Vegans in this one.



  • To mo flow, Apneaman : points taken and thanks.

    Okay, here’s some feelings then. Hope no one’s offended.

    To my children on “father’s day” (or fat-head’s day)

    It wasn’t like I didn’t know something was wrong before you came into my life. The concepts and words weren’t developed yet, but the unease was there all along, the knowing that it would all end badly.

    You were a source of joy and pride, heartache and heartbreak, and you’re all grown up now and on your own, doing fine for now.

    You’ll find that it’ll get much harder for people to live as you age, not like when you grew up and everything seemed bright and rosy.

    Enjoy yourselves, your families and each other. My time’s almost up and i’ll try not to be a burden while helping you when and where I can.

    Mom will tell you that I didn’t want children, and it’s true, but once you came along I loved you with all I had. We had some tough times in the past, but here we are. You all turned out fine, you’re doing alright and you’re all healthy – so that’s about all a reluctant father could ask. I appreciate all you do for your mom and me and the love we feel.


    the 18 min. version from 1968 for my dad who’s gone but alive and well in my memories, still guiding me.


    Song For My Father

    Horace Silver

    If there was ever a man
    Who was generous, gracious and good
    That was my dad
    The man
    A human being so true
    He could live like a king
    ‘Cause he knew
    The real pleasure in life

    To be devoted to
    And always stand by me
    So I’d be unafraid and free

    If there was ever a man
    Who was generous, gracious and good
    That was my dad
    The man
    A human being so true
    He could live like a king
    ‘Cause he knew
    The real pleasure in life

    To be devoted to
    And always stand by me
    So I’d be unafraid and free

    If there was ever a man
    Who was generous, gracious and good
    That was my dad
    The man, The man

    by Horace Silver

  • UL

    “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour.”
    One of my favorite quotes.

  • Malcolm Light posted a comprehensive (and massive) article over on Artic News that seemorerocks picked up and i’m just reposting the link and a few quotes here.


    Arctic Atmospheric Methane Global Warming Veil

The Arctic Atmospheric ‘Methane Global Warming Veil’. Its Origin in the Arctic Subsea and Mantle and the Timing of the Global Terminal Extinction Events by 2040 to 2050 – A Review.


    My greatest admiration is for Mother Earth who has carefully held the atmospheric temperature within the stable range necessary for oceans to exist for at least 4 billion years and nurtured the earliest bacteria to evolve into today’s space faring humans. To do this Mother Earth has many fail – safe mechanisms and correction factors that are activated if one of the systems goes off line. Such is the ocean/atmosphere cooling system for the giant plate magma-convection-turnover in the Earth’s mantle. Mankind’s greed and excessive consumption of the earth’s natural resources has destroyed this stable state and the Earth will correct by eliminating humanity from the global warming equation, unless we change our ways by going immediately to renewable energy and clear the carbon dioxide and methane from the catastrophically warming atmosphere.

    The driving force for the Earth’s magma convection system is deep seated radioactivity within the Earth. From Mother Earth’s point of view, all surface organic matter would be much more effectively placed in the world, at depths below 150 km in the globe encircling subduction zones. Here in the form of diamonds, the organic carbon would sharpen and speed up the rate of descent of the heavy subducting plates to counteract the failure of the ability of the atmosphere and oceans (caused by global warming) to conduct and convect the surface magmatic heat fast enough away into outer space, from the hot erupting magmatic ridges, volcanic arcs and cooling and sinking oceanic plates. Humanity’s absolute incompetence and stupidity caused by our fatal addiction to fossil fuels in assessing and dealing with the impact of global warming and climate change can only lead to our total extinction in the near future. When it is all over by 2050, Aliens are sure to arrive and pick their way through the debris of our flooded cities when they come to terraform the Earth to their own liking.

  • Pauline says “This is not about freedom of speech. It’s about freedom from having our time wasted by nonsense”

    But then who gets to judge what’s nonsense and what’s a legitimate argument? (no matter how poorly worded or filled with idiotic notions?) If the issue at hand is the rapidly closing window of human existence isn’t everything a waste of time? We certainly can’t argue our way out of death, no matter how many bomb shelters we build. Being able to chant oneself into a coma so you feel the presence of god isn’t going to stop wide-scale, massive death to the biosphere either. Is Nature Bats Last just to be a 12-step program of grief counseling for those of us too timid to understand that all things die and that industrial civilization is a giant suicide machine — or can we move on from that?

    Human relations are often chaotic. Imposing order on chaos is a bigger waste of time than skimming over crap you don’t want to bother reading.

    But then, “Time enjoyed is never time wasted.” And near as I can tell, the whole of the internet is designed to waste time.

  • Sam Carana works hard producing Arctic News. Lots of good stuff. Yet, look at his “logic” here as he answers some good questions. I wonder who butters his bread?

    Survival AcresJune 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Nice article, thank you for your efforts.

    Delete the rest of my comments if they do not fit your blog policy.

    Mother Nature has never been the “enemy”. Nature is the source of ALL life (and always will be, when there is ANY life). She remains “Mother” despite having a (human) fever.

    Despite the dire warnings (increasing rapidly in tone and severity, thank you), I don’t perceive any sort of “shift” at all in U.S. or Canadian policy (Obama’s recent exercise was a joke as we all know).

    The U.S. and Canada are already instruments of mass destruction…

    “Infinite stupidity” definitely “fits” and aptly describes what we’ll most probably continue to do.

    If it takes 10 – 15 years (starting TODAY, which of course, isn’t happening) to design, test and implement the proposed Lucy and Alamo projects, temperatures will have already climbed past the “critical 2°C temperature anomaly” – correct? If so, how does that give any leeway at all – especially the projected 5 years of leeway?

    I’ve been accused of being too fatalistic – but your assessment only reinforces it at thousand fold. If nothing on the scale that you require is even being considered (which takes even more time), let alone adopted, then how realistic are these proposals to meet any of the time projections? ~Survival Acres~



    Sam CaranaJune 11, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    First of all, we need commitment to address the situation comprehensively and effectively, as discussed at the Climate Plan blog. Let’s hope that, over the coming years, innovations and further technologies will come along to help avoid the full wrath of large-scale methane eruptions from the Arctic Ocean.

  • “This depresses me.” “He made me angry!” “It’s boring!” “People here offend me too often!” “She insulted me!” “If you don’t express your feelings, they will build up like steam under pressure and you will explode.” “…if a comment is offensive to any person….”

    If we tell ourselves and the people around us things like this many times every day, NO WONDER so many of us so often seem like unstable, emotional powder kegs and we so often see ourselves and others “exploding” or getting depressed almost every day! Does no one else, other than me, see the response-ability and personal power disowning inherent in all of these and many other similar things that so many of us so often tell ourselves and others, sometimes many times every day?

    Really? The things that happen to us “make us” angry or depressed? The things other people say, or the way they say it makes us feel as we do? Really? “Divorce causes depression”? (If so, how do you account for some people feeling happy to get divorced?) “She insulted me when she said that!” Really? How do you account for the fact that only one other person in the room felt insulted by her statement? “Of course Jane feels depressed. She just had a mastectomy.” Really? Mastectomies cause depression? How do you account to Mary and Jill not getting depressed after their double mastectomies?

    Sorry. I respectfully and strongly disagree. And this strikes me as a CRITICAL ISSUE related to the global warming, ecological, and nuclear collapse issues! The things that happen DO NOT upset us! I think that the truth lies much, much closer to a different process. Construct this new knowledge: WE upset OURSELVES with the things we tell ourselves ABOUT the things that happen! So, we can make an unfortunate situation emotionally and practically much WORSE for ourselves by what we tell ourselves and others, or we can make it much BETTER with our thinking, with what we tell ourselves, about it.

    So, what’s a person to do in order to stop responding like an emotional Ping-Pong ball that other people and life constantly bats back and forth, up and down? Instead, try this: (1) Notice the upset. (2) Find the nutty belief (or beliefs) that actually causes the upset, something to the effect of “He made me angry!” or “This should not have happened!” or “I can’t stand her insensitivity!” (3) Challenge the nutty, upsetting belief. For example, “Why shouldn’t he say that?” (You might answer, “Because it’s hurtful.”) Why shouldn’t he say hurtful things? (You might answer, “Because it caused trouble in our group.) “Why shouldn’t he cause trouble in your group? (“Because I want it to work well!”) Why should it work well? (“Because, damn it, that’s the way the world should work!”) Now we are getting somewhere: you are upsetting yourself with your (childish and grandiose) demand that the world, presumably, should work the way you think it should. At least 80% of our emotional upset comes from our making some kind of demand on ourselves, other people, or the world.

    We have not finished yet. Next, we need to replace the nutty, upsetting belief with a new, more helpful idea. For example, instead of “He made me angry!” the new belief might look like “I made myself angry with my nutty idea that he should not have said that. Of course he should have said it, because he DID! Now, I’m not going to upset myself over his behaving this way.”

    As simple as all of this may seem, that does NOT mean that anyone finds it easy to do. Simple does not necessarily equate with easy. Learning to do these four things will surely require FORCEFUL and PERSISTENT PRACTICE over a long period of time. Perhaps the most difficult part involves finding the crazy ideas we have, because we have practiced them so often, for so long, that, like walking, they occur automatically and we have no awareness of them. (Our family or friends can help us with this, if we will let them.) Meanwhile, in this age of immediate gratification, this fact–its requiring forceful, persistent practice–tends strongly to serves as death knell for the process. Oh well: Go ahead and remain a self-justifying, response-ability disowning, emotional Ping-Pong ball!

    Just my opinion.

  • It does appear that “the powers that be” do share the view that some (few in numbers) human beings are actually ‘masters of the universe’ and the Earth is actually like a teat, an endless source of all supplies masters of the universe could possibly want for whatever purposes they intend. For this tiny, hyper-influential, global hegemony the watchwords are NO LIMITS. That is to say,

    no species limits http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332674/

    and no physical limitations http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1253687/

  • Bob Boldt…nice essay. Of course, I had exactly the same reaction to that and some other episodes of Cosmos. NdT has joined Fibben’ McKibben as an industrial civ shill. That mindset of science as religion was present many times in many episodes. Still, it gives me a giggle that Faux News hosted it.

    Guy, I hope that this latest flame war doesn’t change our ability to comment. I’ve been called way more bad names more times on the internet than face to face; we can’t see the hurt therefore it does not exist.

    We must see it to believe it.

    Still, this remains the last chance saloon on the beach of doom. I hope it remains so til the end. How long has it been since Daniel’s seminal essay? Time. It takes time.

    If nothing else, this little corner of the internet stands as evidence of why we are so doomed. Even the incredibly small number of us who agree that NTHE is in the cards can’t get along. We are such a pitiful species.

    Flawed as we are, I still take a toke in honor of this group of people who at least consider who we are and where we are going with a minimum of bullshit.

    (Long inhale)

  • Guy, I’m taking no offense. In fact, allow me to attack me: “Listen, you stupid, no-good POS. Get a fucking life you scumbag prick.”

  • ‘there is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, it hardly behooves any of us to point fingers at the rest of us.’ ~ old timer saying

    Dear NBL family,

    I found incredible life altering value here so thank you to Guy and the rest of the NBL family. Initially I thought things might be different here, considering the awareness of some of the facts of the effect that collective human activity is having on this planet.

    I wonder why, after going through a free online course in NTHE I ended up so much for the better? Stronger, calmer, more thoughtful, more aware, appreciative, and reunited with nature in deep and meaningful ways, while even Professor Mcpherson seems stuck in the hell of Empire? The point of it all is to gain kindness and reunion? Right? Because that is what life is all about.

    Maybe you are all here, playing out the worst of the truth of empire so still gentle souls about to be born may be launched irretrevably out of Empires strangling grasp. Away from it, and all represents.

    Thank you then dear tormented souls. I wish you all could go with me now back to mother nature, but perhaps one by one you will birth each other and follow. Seems no better time to do it.
    Love, TIAA

  • @Bud Nye, that’s a great comment and I am going to copy it immediately as I am heading off to a workshop where I am sure these sorts of issues are going to manifest themselves.

    Because of the workshop, I won’t be around for a couple of weeks, so don’t anyone think I died just yet!

    Love, Lidia

  • @wildwoman says
    Still this remains the last chance saloon on the beach of doom. I hope it remains so til the end.

    I couldn’t agree more, wildwoman.

    I recall that last year in early August if memory serves, that I wanted to log in to NBL and a 403 error came on to the computer screen. My first thought was that TPTB had been up to no good. Thankfully, things got back to normal soon after and I breathed a sigh of relief.
    For many of us, I imagine that this is the only place where we can find like minded souls who understand the idea of NTHE. If my journey is any example, there are plenty of family and friends who think we’ve all gone off the deep end. Having this place to come to, is like coming across an oasis in the desert.

  • There are so many far more offensive real life atrocities we witness every minute while continue to callously participate in empire and yet choose to look the other way than ever occurs in inconsequential words on some backwater blog. Can you really expect to tell us that our lives and the lives of all non-human life on earth will end in a terrific holocaust of selfishness, violence and slow agonizing death of the worst order (and soon, very soon) and not have some participants exponentially freaking out?!?!?! I cannot really wrap my mind around Pauline or caroline baker’s rankly polyanna perceptions in the face of the extinction of all life on earth. What would either one of them tell the people witnessing first hand the atrocities at Treblinka in real time?!?!?! Tell me Pauline what would you tell the Jew watching his wife be hacked to death alive with shovels by laughing SS guards?!?!?!

  • Tell me Pauline what would you tell the Jew watching his wife be hacked to death alive with shovels by laughing SS guards?!?!?!

    Steve,that’s a terrible metaphor. We should be grateful for the ones who connect the dots. As far as I’ve been able to tell, Caroline and Pauline have approached the issue with compassion and empathy all the way. “Don’t kill the messenger” comes to mind. Would you prefer to be in the dark when things get worse, or have a bit of psychological adjustment prior?

  • The metaphor is apt. The jew (me) is watching the wife (Boreal forest) hacked to death (turned to tar sands) by SS guards (patriarchal culture). And if I intervene in any meaningful way I will be murdered. We have all been so psychologically destroyed by this patriarchal culture that unless it is a human being tortured we cannot empathize. I find this concern for our own mental health in the face of such rampant atrocity offensive much in the same way that if concern for the mental health of the guards of Treblinka were all anyone was concerned with.

  • WE may only be the passive guards of Treblinka but guards just the same

  • Bud –

    what are you disagreeing with, exactly? your response seems to me to be a very thought-through argument for doing exactly what I believe Guy and Pauline are talking about.

    I believe they are asking us to take responsibility and ownership of our emotions and the energy behind them, and act accordingly. if we cannot do that, and express emotions on the blog with the primary intention of wounding others to make ourselves feel better, then Guy reserves the right to delete that post, and/or ban the poster. this all seems really simple.

    of course none of us are remotely perfect in this standard, but it still is a very clear standard of behavior that we can strive for – pretty much exactly as you are describing. I seriously doubt, even for a second, that Guy has any desire to turn this place into a yes chorus. in fact he has expressly stated he wants the exact opposite – a diverse and interesting range of posts and commentary.

    maybe after collapse we can all run around screaming like nuts – plundering and wounding anything and everything just as much as we damn well please, but I have a feeling that for everyone but the most deranged and psychopathic, that will get old in about 3 minutes. once it gets old, we will, again, just be looking for someone or something we can connect with, and some way to feel better.

    steve –

    I like the way you extended your analogy, but it seems like it needs to be further extended. it seems to me that unless you typed your comment on a laptop or cell phone that you build totally from scratch with 100% organic materials grown by hand in your own backyard, and sent it to us via an internet that was created the same way, you have just helped to build the next Treblinka, you paid for the next meal of one the guards, and you helped fuel the ovens.


    I know that with practically every breath and action I am helping to spin the machine wheels of insanity that are driving us all over the cliff. so is every single other person I know. I am psychologically healthy enough to know I am also killing *my* wife (the forest I am surrounded by) with every one of these actions.

    this is the situation I was born into. I and many others here have done various things to somehow hold back the madness.

    I directly have worked for the preservation of the forest and its inhabitants. actually, “worked” is not the accurate word, because most of the time I put in was as a volunteer. it was very risky, dangerous work, and I was putting myself not only in harms way of anything out there that was big enough to eat me for dinner (there was a lot out there that could do that), but also directly in the way of interests that had already proven themselves capable of murder, right in my “backyard.” I didn’t blink or even hesitate. I did learn that I could change a flat, all by myself, out in the middle of nowhere, and I had *tons* of other amazing experience in the process. the kinds of things that are the most deeply etched experiences in my soul.

    I see everyone here at NBL just as deeply feeling, possibly in agony actually, in their own ways, about what is going on. I am *intensely* concerned with the mental health of my fellow beings, who see and appreciate this suffering, and everything else going on in the world that is so bent on destruction, oppression and death – both in the human and nonhuman worlds.

    I dare say many of us are exponentially freaking out, on some level or another, just about all the time.

    at the same time, we have the capability to reach for something more, as TIAA is talking about above. we still have, even in the midst of all this, the ability to find kindness. just as the prisoners in the death camps sometimes found kindness that they could express to each other to help each other. just as some of the prisoners, shockingly enough, found within their hearts to express to some of the guards – some of whom knew very well what they were doing was horribly wrong, but they didn’t have the power to free themselves from their own internal prisons, for whatever reasons.

    the whole deal of what we are doing here on Earth is infinitely complicated. I try my best to appreciate that, and deal with all my fellow human and nonhuman beings accordingly.

    I think without a doubt, if we are open to it, we can all help each other – every one of us – deal with what is unfolding in a way that, however inconsequential it may feel, actually serves the purposes of love, life and kindness – for everything on Earth.

  • I did say “WE” with capital letters. All I am trying to say is NO MORE FOCUS on us. That is so depressing! Whatever it takes we all must destroy the machine NOW to even go quietly into the night with a little dignity. I spend every dime and risk personal physical safety in my endeavors to stop the machine. This is our only meaningful reason for existence. Now I have said too much. Fuck you NSA.

  • steve –

    yes, I got that – loud and clear. I do like your analogy – my point was I didn’t think it went far enough, or perhaps was not clear enough.

    I totally understand why you want to take the focus off of the humans. this focus would also be very depressing, to me, if I didn’t feel those humans were also trying their level best to draw attention to the plight of the nonhumans. the messengers, whoever they may be and however futile their efforts may be, do need as much health, mental and otherwise, to do what they must.

    as screwy and flawed as we are, nature did breed us, so I see us – disconnected and dealing death right back into the face of our own Mother in whatever ways we are – as just as deserving of ultimate respect as any other part of nature.

    as absolutely batshit crazy I sometimes feel about the level of the destruction underway, I cannot bring myself to act or want to act on any impulse that would truly harm any one of my fellow human beings.

  • We just recorded our Anniversary Show on the Collapse Cafe with guests Gail Tverberg of Our Finite World and Ugo Bardi of Resource Limits.




    Ugo’s connection was a little dicey so the audio gets a little messed up periodically, but overall its intelligible.

    Many topics of interest to NBL readers, we discussed Extinction possibilities as well as the Nuke Puke problem.

    Currently up as the Feature Video on Diner TV.


  • @Bob Boldt: “In fact Neil’s outlook concerning our hopes for pulling all nine billion of us out of our self-induced crapper is sheer Pollyanna. I almost threw up at his ending for so many reasons it would be hard and nauseating to make a complete list.”

    This why I like and respect Guy so much. He’s one of the few commentators on climate change to treat us like adults by giving it to us straight, without and raising false hope. Of course, that’s also why Guy isn’t on network TV. But that’s the society we live in unfortunately.

  • Lidia,

    It’s not that anyone is embracing nukes. No one is saying that nuclear disasters are the best things ever for the biosphere. What is noteworthy, and seemingly very little understood, is that conventional (IC-influenced) human presence is WORSE. Roads, emissions, parking lots, tree removal, buildings spell death for wilderness.

    I noticed, too, that the more industrialized sites were hardly overgrown, and wondered if all the crushed gravel under this infrastructure would prohibit plant growth. I also didn’t check out how far one scene was from another, or what else might account for their difference in appearance.

    What gets confusing, and that I attempt to clarify for myself, is the distinction between workable (or even beneficial) human interaction with nature, and human interaction that is deadly.

    I grew up on a heavily wooded property. Apparently, it has been a sugar plantation before, starting perhaps in the 18th century. The plantation monoculture ecology must have been less biodiverse than the forest which replaced it and that I experienced. The forest in my time was comprised of pimento trees that were sustainably harvested of their berries to make what is known here as all spice. So there appears to be correlation between fewer people (contrasted to the sugar plantation days), less capitalization, diminished infrastructure and increased biodiversity.

    Now, the last sugar plantations are being erased by housing developments. IMO, this is more ecologically destructive than the plantations by an order of magnitude.

  • (Daily) News in Two Minutes
    playlist for recent episodes

  • Frontline web page;

    Treblinka opened with three gas chambers in operation but quickly expanded to at least six. (7) Housed in a brick building, the chambers appeared at first sight to be showers. Pipes attached to the ceiling brought the gas in to the death chambers through what looked like shower heads. (8) Prisoners were told that they were going in to a bath house to be cleansed. They would enter through one door.

    Once the prisoners were inside the chambers, the order “Ivan, water!” shouted from a German to a Ukrainian guard would begin the gassing. The gassing did not always happen quickly. Because the victims were packed in to the room tightly, there was no room to move around. Consequently, the victims might stand for thirty to forty minutes before they actually died. (9)

    After death, the bodies would be removed through a door opposite the entrance of the chamber where all the body cavities would be searched for hidden valuables. After this search the bodies would be dragged to mass graves for burial. When the mass graves became a problem, the Germans ordered the graves to be excavated and that the bodies be disposed of in a more efficient way. Starting in the Fall of 1942, this meant dragging the bodies and stacking them on a grid of old railway tracks for burning. (10) Once emptied of the bodies, the chambers would be cleaned and made ready for the next group of prisoners.

    Treblinka – Shtetl – FRONTLINE
    The story of how the population of a Jewish shtetl in Poland was wiped out in the Holocaust.


  • Guy, your manipulation of my data is unconscionable.
    I am shocked.

  • I do not manipulate “your” data, Gerald Spezio. I simply do not allow your posts that deny the holocaust. You cannot insult an entire race of people with obvious lies on this website.

  • Will you publish my clear statement that the Frontline “Treblinka story” is preposterously FALSE.

  • Evidence, Gerald, is required in this space. Not blatant lies from racists.

  • Yessir, if there is evidence, where is it?

    Open a true debate & present the evidence.

    I wholeheartedly believe in the axiom that there must be evidence.


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial

    There is abundant evidence for the holocaust, Gerald, and no relevant evidence against it

  • Dear Guy:

    About the Chia guest post

    When I did my daily click on your website and began reading your Chia guest post, my first reaction, after getting as far as the Chilean survivalist rant, was why is Guy featuring this guy. I laboriously continued to read expecting some gem of content to emerge, but alas none appeared. I almost penned a “disappointment” comment but then rationalized that you probably needed a break from constant publishing given you speaking schedule and Chia’s use of your name in his post title likely won your empathy to give him some headline space. Today you have apologized for the post after a diatribe from many of your regular readers of which I was almost one too. I commend you for that response.

    In the future I (we) hope you will consider carefully who you give post space to. To us, your regular followers and supporters, we have elected you “spokesperson” for a subject we are passionate and emotional about. Although species extinction is a natural phenomenon on our planet, it is something very difficult for an intelligent species like us to contemplate when it is likely to happen in our lifetime. While we except it, we also want to understand the process, learn how to cope with the changes and share experiences. That’s why we come here.

  • As Frankl said:

    “The survivors were not the best of us.”

    And that is how it will be, the mild-mannered, the kind-hearted, the simple-minded, will be lined up and shot. And, the slightly less mild-mannered, kind-hearted, and simple-minded will bury them – until it is their turn to be shot.

    When is my turn I wonder.

    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.

  • Writing in the CLUSTERFUCK NATION – BLOG post for June 16, 2014 entitled Heads, You Lose, James Howard Kunstler writes about Iraq:
    “It all happened pretty quickly last week, but in case you haven’t noticed, Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall over there.”

    Yet another one of the converging crises. This circus has too many rings to keep track of. Sadly, however, unlike in Roman times, bread is far from a given with this circus.

  • @Lidia

    Thanks. The things I wrote did not originate with me. The central principle that, “The things that happen don’t upset us emotionally. We do with our thinking ABOUT the things that happen” comes from the Greek stoic philosopher, Epictetus, about 70 AD. It does not prove 100% true, but does at least 90% of the time. The approximate 10% exceptions come through classically conditioned responses, for example as occurs with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In these cases something happening does directly “make us” experience a strong emotional response. But even with these direct, classically conditioned responses we can still make the emotional and practical consequences for ourselves much better or much worse with our thinking about them, greatly lengthening or shortening the amount of time we feel upset.

    With the rest of my description, I just summarized many of the most important principles of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) as developed and used by the famous clinical psychologist, Albert Ellis, arguably the most prolific and effective therapist in the history of psychotherapy, often known as “the grandfather of cognitive psychology”, whom I worked with for several short periods of time about 35 years ago. I worked hard for several years to deeply learn and implement the REBT principles and now use them automatically and fluently in my day-to-day life. I see the more recent and popular work of Byron Katie as a softer, more feminine version of Ellis’ much more aggressive, masculine style for finding, challenging, and replacing irrational beliefs. If you have an interest in this, you might want to start reading Ellis with his popular A New Guide To Rational Living written with Robert Harper, 1975.

    Best luck with your workshop!

  • Holocaust

    Do humans deserve to all die?
    Please ask someone smarter than I;
    But if hating the Jew
    Provides any clue,
    We know at least one reason why.

  • tyson:

    im a little disappointed, but not surprised to hear that NDT didn’t present the full seriousness on climate change – whether consciously or not. i tried watching an episode of the show, but (rightly or wrongly, as i recognize i may not have given him enough of a chance) i found it to be a dumbed down version of the brilliant original. unfortunately, all times ive seen him present, he strikes me as a bit too focused on his personal celebrity for my taste (and still seems to have an aire of hostility that i find offputting). nevertheless, it is nice to see people take an interest in something other than dancing with the stars.

    Re Ad Hominem attacks:

    everytime i see or hear the words ad hominem, a part of my brain fires and i think of ralph cramden (homina homina homina). that is all

  • Nothing from Wester for a while. Hope you’re ok if you’re out there.

  • Ben!!! OMG! it’s wonderful to see you!
    excellent limerick too. ;)

  • from a comment on the blog of xraymike:
    On this blog and others, we’ve seen how some have pointed to the fact that we went wrong perhaps 10,000 years ago when we stopped being hunter gatherers and became agrarian farmers, that it was our “programming” to take over and disregard any limits to our will despite all the warnings we had along the way from artists, poets, writers, scientists and the like. Whatever the reasons, we’ve simply fulfilled our destiny and will now learn the lesson (of stewardship) we disregarded. We’ve overpopulated and polluted ourselves to death.

  • @ pammie, thanks, and it’s really wonderful to see you again too! I’ll try to find your e-mail, but if I can’t, I have an address at aol called LimericksOfDoom.

    @ everybody else: Well, that’s two for me for today, but pammie is most special, you see.

  • It strikes me that this new Chris Hedges article about Noam Chomsky titled “American Socrates” http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/american_socrates_20140615 relates directly to much of the discussion here. For example this Chomsky quote: “Mayr argued that the adaptive value of what is called ‘higher intelligence’ is very low,” Chomsky said. “Beetles and bacteria are much more adaptive than humans. We will find out if it is better to be smart than stupid.

    He also draws a number of parallels with Nazi Germany. In reading this I thought often of many of the things that Guy has spoken and written about so often.

  • I just found out I can post to to this blog, GREAT. I agree with you about the pointless personal attacks and frivolous detractors posting comments that have nothing to do with the subject essay. We need to be able to disagree, but in a civil thoughtful way. Thanks for trying to put a stop to the unneeded and unsolicited personal attacks and superfluous comments!

  • pat: thanks for noticin’.

    Ben: still hittin’ ’em outta the park! You’re so masterful at it. Thanks.

    for everyone on the beach today, a little wistful music from Laura Cantrell called Bees

  • Back to the ‘boring’ stuff:

    Global Warming 56 Million Years Ago: What it Means for Us

  • Guy you must be a natural born teacher if you never tire of explaining shit to people. I hope you keep the comments open as they give the blog the sense of community that made me feel like “coming home” when I discovered it.
    So few people “get it” there is surely no need for those who do to fight over details of timing. I know no one who has made significant adjustment to their living arrangements in the light of what is happening!
    I have zero interest in arguing the exact extent or timing of an extinction event. I will be doing what I do until my body craps out or until I can’t stand the bad news and suffering anymore.
    On the wall of the hut that was my first home by the mountain is a piece of paper with a few lines on it, taken from a Alan Watts book I think. The first reads “nothing is as it seems, nor is it otherwise” I’ve always thought this a most succinct summation of the paradoxical world we inhabit. The second reads “the crow imitating the ways of the cormorant must surely drown”; which surely speaks to me about just being what you are and not trying to be what you are not!
    We are all fuck ups at times, we all get things wrong, but a little tolerance would ease the way, without all that new age crap though of course! :-)

  • Dmitry Orlov

    These are just some of the things you are unlikely to hear about if you live in the West. What you are likely to hear instead is that Putin invaded Crimea. He didn’t; the Russian troops were in Crimea the entire time, based on a long-standing international agreement, and Russian troop levels never exceeded agreed-upon levels. You are also likely to hear that Putin forcibly annexed Crimea. He didn’t; the people of Crimea overwhelmingly voted to annul the Soviet decision to lump them into Ukraine and rejoined Russia of their own free will. But Crimea now part of Russia, peaceful and prosperous, and taking in Russian refugees that are streaming in from across the Ukrainian border, and the new mantra repeated endlessly by Western media is that Ukrainian forces (the good guys) are battling “pro-Russian separatists” (the bad guys) who are causing chaos in the east of the country. First of all, they are not “pro-Russian”—they are Russian, no different from the ones right across the border in Russia. Second, they are not “separatists,”—they want to rejoin Russia, undoing the Soviet-era decision to lump their bit of Russia into Ukraine.


  • commenter @ xraymikeblog said: “…we’ve seen how some have pointed to the fact that we went wrong perhaps 10,000 years ago…”

    What did us in was politics, not biology. Self deceit. And it came on in the last 50 or so years. Since WW2, really. You just have to look at a population graph to work out where enlightenment thinking should have kicked in an altered our destiny, but didn’t.

    Growing up as a kid we were busy tut-tutting at how heartless the Chinese were with their one child policy. Scoring political points when we should have been implementing population control policies across the globe. A global 2 child policy since the 1950s, with social-democratic governance to back it up.

    But we were seduced by the lies of capitalism instead.

  • Just in case anyone is being seduced into the hope camp:

    ‘Coal has reached its highest market share of global energy consumption for more than 40 years, figures reveal, despite fears that its high carbon emissions make it a prime cause of climate change.

    The use of coal for power generation and other purposes grew by 3% in 2013 – faster than any other fossil fuel – while its share of the market breached 30% for the first time since 1970, the BP Statistical Review reports.

    The figures were published as Prof Nick Stern, author of the influential climate change report the Stern Review, said his latest research indicated the economic risks of unchecked climate change were bigger than previously estimated.’


  • Sadie: if overpopulation (ie. rampant reproduction made possible by the “endless” supply of cheap fossil fuel energy) isn’t biologically based, what is? I agree that limiting the global number of children would have been a good idea at one time, but the Catholic church had a different agenda (like it did when someone brought the fact that the Earth isn’t the center of the universe to their attention).

    As ulvfugl pointed out above, we’re getting wrong info on the Ukraine. Today, the ISIS in Iraq (crisis) propaganda pix we were all treated to on the news look like bad photo-shopped fakes to many investigators:


    6/17/2014 — ALERT! “Isis” execution photos FAKED… photoshop mistake, and wardrobe “malfunction

    Here are some other political headlines (from seemorerocks site):
    [from the Independent]

    Robert Fisk, a man with a feeling for history, who tells it as it is.

    Robert Fisk: Now we see how his doctrine turns enemies into ‘allies’

    Assad’s enemies, whom Blair’s bombing of Damascus would have helped, now threaten Iraq

    [the Guardian]

    Iraq blowback: Isis rise manufactured by insatiable oil addiction

    [Zero Hedge]

    Iraq Breaks Down, Oil Surges – The Context Underlying The Growing Crisis

    Chris Martenson

    [finally, to keep it reasonable, over on Utopia “here we go again”]

    U.S. considers sending Special Forces to Iraq for training
    [oh yeah, “training” ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say na more’]

    Take a while and read (between the lines) what may be the trigger for global collapse – WWIII being manipulated by TPTB via Middle East maneuvering.

    Amazing, isn’t it? We’re in dire ecological/environmental straits and humanity decides to make it worse with all this political and military action – while they still have the energy to do it.

    Meanwhile, over on Extinction Protocol:

    After 30 years: Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Volcano showing signs of stirring


    Awakening? seismic unrest reported at Alaska’s remote Semisopochnoi Volcano

    Anyone keeping up with the News in Two Minutes (linked above by Robin) can get a decent overall summary of many of the imminent problems bearing down on us.

    I gotta get in the garden before it gets hot. i’ll check back later to see how everyone’s doing and what’s on your minds.

  • I’ve posted a new essay, courtesy of Bud Nye. It’s here.

  • plant no crops
    build no cities

  • Tom: Overpopulation is biologically based, yes, but the avoidance of it requires thought and action, and coordinated thought and action brings politics into play.

  • Sadie: I agree with you (remember the Zero Population Growth movement?). It’s hard for anyone, including governments, to put a limit on reproduction because there are so many other individuals and groups arguing for INCREASED reproduction. In some countries, it used to be the case that many offspring died before reaching the age where they could help the family out, so having lots of children was the norm. Our “intelligence” didn’t help when it came to overpopulation. In many states TODAY, women can’t get abortions (for babies they can’t afford to raise) due to those politics you mentioned.

    pat: I was just pullin’ weeds (& stopped now that it’s getting up in temp. and humidity) to make room for the perennials I put in years ago. We had a week of rain last week so the weeds are jumping out of the ground.

  • Freedom of speech has always been a political right, not a social license. It protects from civic/governmental retaliation for statements. If no one is calling the police and having a person hauled away to jail, then no one’s “freedom of speech” has been infringed upon.

    At my senior age of 61, I can find no instance wherein people anywhere have found it beneficial to allow others to say anything they please to other people. People are always free to toss individuals out of the party, the job, the marriage, the class, the blog, the theater, the store, etc., for words spoken.

  • “I can find no instance wherein people anywhere have found it beneficial to allow others to say anything they please to other people. People are always free to toss individuals out of the party, the job, the marriage, the class, the blog, the theater, the store, etc., for words spoken.”

    Which confusing freedom of speech with saying offensive things for the sake of saying offensive things. I’m not in favor of racism spoken, written or in action, but to ignore the existence of racism because it is not what polite people talk about is foolish.

    I oppose any motion where a star chamber can decide by invisible decree what is and isn’t acceptable language. Having no restrictions is better than having unwritten and unseen restrictions. Jerk behavior is in the eye of the beholder. Who knows how many people are offended by the word “hippie” or the even more damning word “old”?

    What criteria would you impose upon any form of expression? Should we ban all slang, or just vulgar words to describe body functions?
    Should everyone first identify themselves by age and race? Should we have special allowances for people who feel threatened by the dominate culture? Should we all just keep our mouths shut and that way make sure no one is ever offended? Where do we draw the line?
    Can we decide as adults that putting up with loud noise is just part of the bargain we endure so occasionally we get to hear something beautiful?

  • “Which confusing freedom of speech with saying offensive things for the sake of saying offensive things.”

    I disagree. That is not the confusion at all. The confusion is between civil/political rights ~ i.e., a governmental and citizen issue ~ with social license that protects against social consequences.

    I stand by my statement; if the police are not hauling a person away to jail, and possibly confiscating their property, the issue is not about “free speech.” Free speech does not have any bearing whatsoever on what occurs.

    You can decide anything you want, and then you can decide if it’s right/wrong, appropriate/offensive, whatever. And then you can do what you want, observe it without judgment, leave, ask the person to leave for comments, etc.

    Free speech is only in connection with governmental reprisals. That’s it. Nothing more. It is disappointing to see that ordinary and even quite well educated people remain so confused about such a simple fact.

  • Grant, also, I never mentioned anything about “polite” or any analysis of language or who decides anything, nor was my comment an intellectual or theoretical one. I have never been anywhere in my entire life, nor have I ever heard of any place or environment, where people are allowed to say anything they please to others without consequence, unless it is an abusive situation where one person has power over another. But that is something else altogether.

  • Yes, but this appears to be a purely surface, literal understanding of freedom of speech, conversation in general and social interactions.

    I’m not saying people should be abusive, rude, threatening, or idiotic, but rather people should be allowed to be those from time to time.

    You have yet to explain what is meant by “consequence” within the confines of this particular blog. What happens in school yards and crowded restaurants isn’t really relevant to the discussion here.
    What consequences do you deem just and fair? Banning, warnings, written notices to the parents? Are you volunteering your services as the word police here? What is your point other than believing in the total compliance to rules that aren’t posted anywhere? Please don’t tell me it’s a case of using common sense, as that again is widely open to personal interpretation.

  • I’m not referring to anything that is open to interpretation. My only point was as stated: “free speech” does not apply here or anyplace else unless it involves governmental reprisals. This was not a point about how people should handle anything. Being arrested or otherwise persecuted by governmental agencies is the only issue that “free speech” addresses. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . .” It’s about laws, not social standards.

    I do not decide what is just and fair for situations that don’t really concern me. No, it’s not a “surface” understanding. It is not relevant to apply “free speech” to situations like this blog. It’s Guy’s blog. The questions you ask of me are best directed to him. I’m just pointing out that (1) it doesn’t apply here, and (2) I have never personally been anywhere, nor have I ever heard of any place where human beings tolerate any and all words, whether spoken or written, from others.

    My point was to expand on the subject that was discussed earlier in this thread. The First Amendment right of “freedom of speech” is irrelevant to this blog and pretty much every other social interaction that exists if there are no governmental reprisals occurring for words expressed. It isn’t any deeper than that, and individuals who attempt to apply “freedom of speech” to situations like this are in error regarding what “freedom of speech” actually means.