NTHE Question #1

In discovering the thesis of near-term human extinction last year and talking about it with my wife, she made this statement: “Maybe we deserve it.” That was pretty jaw-dropping to me, but then I thought about it for a while. For example, we watched “The Golden Dream” last night (it was originally titled, “La Jaula de Oro”). But pick your movie, people are often quite horrible. So allow me to imply a moral aspect to my question as compared to a dry cause-and-effect analysis. To wit: Do we deserve it?

Comments 130

  • “RE: My guess is that Guy is not going to weigh on this questions series unless he provides some summary at the end of the exercise. I believe he is trying to elicit a response from all us “heavy thinkers” in the collapse and extinction blogosphere about the various issues surrounding the subjects. I put you, Chefurka and Baker in the VERY heavy weight category. I’m a light weight. Cheers!”-StR

    If Guy is on a Data Collection mission here and is going to write a summary article with his findings, I am fine with this.

    However, Guy himself is in the Super Heavyweight Division far as NTHE/Bottleneck Collapse Bloggers go, so if he is going to solicit opinions on this from the rest of us, he should make his own opinion clear as well.

    RE

  • No, Roy, it’s not insanity, we’re just a highly successful species. We’ll have our allotted span and then go the way of 90% of all the other species that ever existed. There is no morality or irrationality involved either. To live fully is purely instinctive, while you can. All species do it. There’s no point in blaming ourselves. But you’re right about us burning brightly and therefore burning out quickly.

    We’re killing other species now, but we’re also releasing lost carbon from underground for the use of future species when we’re gone. It’s all part of the plan.

  • @ Barbara

    ..for the use of future species when we’re gone Eh ?

    It’s all part of the plan. What plan is that ? Got a link where I can see a copy ?

  • Whether you stand in a long line and pay for the privilege to smell stink, or you sit quietly in a circle to smell stink or watch it grow—IT’S CRAZY. Changes nothing.
    The two are slightly different, but people are stupid then and now.

  • Humans don’t deserve to exist. I’ll never stop saying it. I had no trouble whatsoever with question #1.

    http://iouco.tumblr.com/post/93139087454/the-acrid-smell-of-the-european-values-in-the-heat-of

  • @ mt

    I think you are missing the point. They sat around to watch it emerge because it’s awesome, in the same way that an elephant is awesome, or an eclipse of the Moon is awesome, or the birth of a child is awesome, or Stonehenge is awesome, because it’s the biggest flower on Earth, and it’s very weird. I don’t think they do smell when they first appear, do they ?

    http://www.ecosia.org/search/images/q/rafflessia

  • http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/even-with-extreme-precautions-doctor-contracted-ebola-what-will-ordinary-citizens-do-if-virus-goes-pandemic/

    Even with extreme precautions doctor contracted Ebola – what will ordinary citizens do if virus goes pandemic?

    July 2014 – AFRICA – Since March of this year, Liberia and its partners have been working assiduously to contain one of the world’s deadly viruses, Ebola, but to no avail, as it effects have now reached an alarming proportion, putting the country in an undeniable squeeze. Having been criticized in the initial stage of the emergence of the virus and in view of the growing number of deaths as a result of the virus, the Liberian government has intensified life-saving measures including the declaration of national emergency, the setting up of a national task force, the closure of entry border points and other noteworthy. The taking of these actions, according to analysts, shows how risky the nation has become to the plague of the Ebola virus, and also means that it is at ‘war.’ The virus which emerged here in March of this year, having decimated a huge chunk of the population of Guinea, is tearing the nation apart, destroying every life in its reach and path. Regrettably, according to analysts, all of this is occurring after an experience of years of fratricidal bush war that pulverized the nation almost beyond reach and recognition. In spite of national and international fusion of efforts to combat its threat, it is proving difficult to contain, thus sending deep-seated apprehension down the spines of all Liberians. The emergence of Ebola in Liberia having caused unbearable toll on a good portion of the population of Guinea, the virus surfaced in Lofa County and then started to cascade downward Montserrado and Margibi Counties through human contacts. [read the rest]

    on another front (adding to Greg’s comment on the last page)

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/

    Nouriel Roubini, Kyle Bass, Hugo Salinas Price, Charles Nenner, James Dines, Jim Rogers, David Stockman, Marc Faber, Jim Rickards, Paul Craig Roberts, Martin Armstrong, Larry Edelson, Gerald Celente and Others Warn of Wider War

    Paul Craig Roberts – former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, former editor of the Wall Street Journal, listed by Who’s Who in America as one of the 1,000 most influential political thinkers in the world, PhD economist – wrote an article yesterday about the build up of hostilities between the U.S. and Russia titled, simply: “War Is Coming”. In the article, Roberts notes:

    As reported by Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, the Russian response to the extra-legal ruling of a corrupt court in the Netherlands, which had no jurisdiction over the case on which it ruled, awarding $50 billion dollars from the Russian government to shareholders of Yukos, a corrupt entity that was looting Russia and evading taxes, is telling. Asked what Russia would do about the ruling, an advisor to President Putin replied, “There is a war coming in Europe.” Do you really think this ruling matters?”

    In January, well-known economist Nouriel Roubini tweeted from the gathering of the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum in Davos:

    Many speakers compare 2014 to 1914 when WWI broke out & no one expected it. A black swan in the form of a war between China & Japan?
    [lots more]

  • I’d say my point is: There is no point.
    After watching the short list of species gone-forever-I call us stupid, and I include me.

    “It ain’t no use a-talking to me
    It’s just the same as talking to you.”-BD

  • I’ve posted the latest essay in this space, along with other tidbits. Catch it here.

  • It would be nice if “my wife” had a name. Wife is absolutely right IMO. If there were a Creator, She would be terribly offended by this disgusting species and would encourage its demise.

  • .
    @ Roy:

    “…but then I’d rather be a killer than a victim.”

    “Quite an experience to live in fear isn’t it? That’s what it means to be a slave.”

  • The victims do not deserve their abuse.

    Oil-Qaeda, the perpetrator, does deserve “it.”

  • @ MT:

    Thanks for the link for the video from The Voluntary Extinction Movement.

    Thou shalt not procreate!

  • Paul C>

    “Blame, judgement, rights and the notion of “deserving” are all residents of the social superstructure. As a result they have nothing to offer those who seek serious, structural social change. Nor have anger, outrage or resistance (even the Deep Green kind). Those qualities may make the person who holds them feel righteous, but they won’t make deep changes in society. They can’t, because they don’t operate at the right level in the system.”

    I’ve long surmised something along these lines, as if looking through a glass very darkly. Thanks for the clear statement.

    Just one question, however: Doesn’t all the outrage and protest, even if its effects are superficial, important just the same? For instance, Norman Finkelstein talks about leaving his computer to go lead a street protest. Wendell Berry also participated in a sit-in and group-arrest action. Bertrand Russell participated in peace rallies. I just don’t know if we can rule out such actions, despite the need to act on a different level. Maybe these people were never operating on the level you describe, but I’m curious what you think.

  • The religion of MLK and that of the far right are two different things. Whatever the correct term is, I’ll use “geopolitical forces” as the thing which helps to make religion either constructive or destructive.

    The large majority of the world’s people exercise both religion and common decency. But when money and resource scarcity get thrown into the mix, religion can drive all kinds of crazy things. In a time of looming NTE, I fail to see how taking on the impossible task of erasing religion worldwide is constructive.

  • artleads,

    IMO the people you mention were operating under a mistaken assumption of how the world works, the same assumptions that have led to the general impotence of the environmental and social-justice movements. Their lack of influence has been chalked up to systemic greed, venality and corruption, but that assessment is a victim of the same erroneous assumption – that human agency is the main creative force behind social structure. I don’t think it is.

    Were their actions “important”? That depends on the answers to a couple of questions. Important to who? Important in what sense? If importance is judged in terms of driving structural changes to world society – with its arbitrage of everything from labour costs to resources, and the externalization of so many egregious environmental costs – IMO the answer has to be, “No, their actions were not important.” As you surmise, they were never operating on a level that could produce the kind of change they desired. They didn’t (and still don’t) realize that fact. People like Paul Kingsnorth do.

    It might help to draw a semantic distinction between “important” and “significant”. The actions of Gandhi were important to many people. The actions of the Koch brothers are significant for our species and most larger life forms on the planet.

  • @ artleads:

    Isn’t the impossible task of erasing religion worldwide constructive?

    umm, I think you answered your own question:

    “Doesn’t all the outrage and protest, even if its effects are superficial, important just the same? ”

    Of course, my opinion is “who cares?”

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • Hey Pat,
    What happened to your cat?

  • @ artleads & Paul Chefurka,

    I think that Paul responded to your questions, artleads, extremely well.

  • @ mt

    The people who sat around the flower in silence were the native people who lived were it grew, maybe been doing that for thousands of years, they had never heard of NTE or been responsible for it, if everyone had had the same reverence and respect for life forms, I think we wouldn’t be in this mess… would I lie to you ? ;-)

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

    Mother of SEVEN? WTF??

    When Rania Haels got within 60 feet of the debris that was once her family home in Al Shajaya on Saturday, a machine-gun on top of a nearby Israeli Merkava tank started firing. Probably these were warning shots pumped in her direction, but the 42-year-old mother of seven ran for her life. Now she stays with her family in an overcrowded parking garage in Gaza City and spends her days sitting in a public park full of refugees displaced by the Israeli push.

  • Oh, just wait til the friendly Israeli’s that our politicians fall all over themselves defending, come to visit:

    [from seemorerocks]

    Jewish nazis

    Merciless Israeli mobs are hunting Palestinians

    All eyes are on Gaza, where the death toll from Israel’s merciless bombing campaign has topped 1,000.

    But back in Jerusalem, where sixteen-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair was burned alive by Jewish vigilantes in a “revenge killing” incited by Israeli politicians early this month, right-wing lynch mobs continue to roam the streets in search of Arabs to attack.

    Their most recent victims are twenty-year-old Palestinians Amir Shwiki and Samer Mahfouz from the Beit Hannina neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. The pair were severely beaten into unconsciousness on Friday night by Israeli youths armed with iron bars and baseball bats.

    Mahfouz told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he and Shwiki were on their way to the light rail when they were stopped by “a man [coming] from the direction of Neve Yaakov,” an illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

    “He said give me a cigarette. I told him I don’t have any, and he heard [from my accent] I’m Arab and went away, coming back with his friends, maybe twelve people. They had sticks and iron bars and they hit us over the head,” Mahfouz recounted.

    Haaretz added, “According to the victims, police officers that arrived at the scene did not call an ambulance, and they were instead evacuated by passersby to receive medical treatment at a Beit Khanina [sic] clinic. They were later rushed to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem in serious condition.”

    Though investigators believe the beating to be racially motivated, no one has been arrested. [if you can stomach it, read the rest]

  • no apostrophe there (Israelis) for all you keeping score (my mistake)

  • @ Lark:

    Just read your July 24 post a few threads back. Very nice.

    You see, we only become annoying once we have some spare time – that’s probably why early HG societies were cohesive, they didn’t have the leisure time to be annoying. Also, the tribal “leaders” were certain to have plenty of group activities planned for any down-time. Dance and sing around the fire until you are tired – no whispering in corners.

    Also, today, most are not fully engaged in anything but waiting. If you knew Godzilla was coming, would you board up your windows and buy some extra batteries?

    Waiting.

    Waiting.

    Listen to the wind blow…

  • The thought came to me that when we enter NTHE we will essentially have given GOD the PINK slip..

  • “My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.” – George Bernard Shaw

    Ready for a good laugh? Think of the following more as a thought experiment than a claim. If the strong whiff of teleology repulses you, try not to miss the meaning that’s hiding beneath it.

    The truth about the human species is exactly the reverse of what most people imagine it to be, and it’s hilarious (but very hard to laugh at, because the joke’s largely on us). And I know that if I dare to point out that truth, most people who hear me aren’t going to be chuckling: instead, they’ll recoil from it and think me mad. Needless to say, I’ll be roundly condemned for saying such things. Nevertheless, here goes:

    Those who think that we can somehow “save civilization” with saner energy policies, better diplomacy, “cleaner” technologies and recycling, or prevent the death by starvation of millions of our fellows when the oil stops flowing and the tractors and trucks stop running, or curtail the ongoing anthropogenic wipe-out of the planet’s biota, or imagine that such intentions are even laudable, are the most deluded people on Earth. They’ve not yet realized – or come to terms with – the truth of what we are and why we evolved in the first place. They’re stuck in a paradigm that imagines life itself to be a beautiful thing, and Earth to be the most blessed of planets because it is teeming with living things. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Of course the remaining unspoiled features of the natural, living world (if you can find any) seem beautiful if looked at superficially, ignoring the hideous violence that goes on at all multicellular levels and was largely responsible for the production of that beauty. Look deeper: everything “above” the bacterial domain is busy eating and being eaten. Most animals die young, and horribly. Everywhere there is pain, terror, suffering and bereavement. Sentient existence is a litany of horrors, and it’s been that way ever since the evolution of complex, energetic life, life driven by sexual reproduction, life that maintains itself by killing and eating other living things. The scale of the horror is absolutely unfathomable; “red in tooth and claw” doesn’t begin to capture the awfulness of it all. Symbiosis is celebrated as life’s great wisdom only by those who have failed to grasp what’s at stake for the individual animals that are locked in the struggle that lies at its base, who have forgotten that parasitism (for instance) is also a form of symbiosis (along with what is imagined to be a somehow merciful “thinning of the herd”). Who in his right mind imagines the life of a prey animal to be idyllic? Why do any of us imagine the maintenance of such a horror show to be a worthwhile aim?

    Earth is the planet that has caught an infection. The infection is not bacterial: it’s eukaryotic and multicellular. And it’s our job as Earth’s long-awaited climax species to wipe out the infection – an infection that includes us – by acting as the agent that finally kills its host. Our mistake lies in imagining this to be a bad thing. But consider: once we have achieved our foreordained end, there will be no more suffering on this planet, ever again. Life, sick and tired of itself, has brought *us* forth to end the travesty. By turning the planet’s atmosphere into a gas chamber and rendering its oceans an acid bath seething with radionuclides, we will at long last have restored equilibrium to a planet that had become a realm of indescribable suffering. We will have played the role of the cosmic Great Physician (or perhaps Exorcist).

    Am I disgusted by this awful insight? Of course. It’s the human curse, to be convinced by the dominant paradigm: that life is a blessing, that it is sacred, that it must be preserved at all cost. The only laugh I can manage emerges from my constricted throat as a sort of dry cackle, echoing through the Abyss.

  • NTHE will escort in a pink slip for god me thinks……

    I did post this before but not sure what blog if here oh well…