Poem for Earth

Nature Bats Last is the only space in this world dedicated to near-term human extinction. Future essays will focus on this phenomenon, which suggests less-frequent essays in the near future. If a contribution is not directly related to the topic of near-term human extinction, it will not be posted here. Occasional exceptions will be granted for social criticism and my self-indulgent, personal anecdotes.

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Poem for Earth, by Guy McPherson

It’s ripping my heart out
thinking of you
wondering how you came to be so strong

We’re tearing your heart out
thinking of us
dancing thoughtlessly, doing you wrong

Our lives out of balance,
growth our only call,
never questioning what we’re growing into

Fitting into this culture
our constant goal,
delighting in all the lives we undo

You’re slipping away now,
out of our grasp.
We’ve no idea what we’ve done

We can’t live without you,
hubris aside,
and we’ll soon find we can’t run.

It’s ripping my heart out
thinking of you
wondering how you came to be so strong

I’m tearing your heart out,
thinking of me
living thoughtlessly, doing you wrong

My life out of balance,
survival my call,
never questioning what I’m turning into.

Fitting into this culture
my constant goal,
distressing in the lives I undo.

You’re slipping away now,
out of my grasp.
I’ve no idea what I’ve done.

I can’t live without you,
hubris aside,
and I’ll soon find I can’t run.

I feel so weak deep down inside
where I know you’re strong.
Paralyzed to inaction by shackles of culture.

When will I let go,
as I tell others to do?
When will I dive head-first into my future?

Seeing destruction
I leave in my wake
makes me want to let go of it all.

Staring into the abyss,
knowing time is short,
why not march into the squall?

I love you completely
yet I can expect nothing.
You, my goddess, hold all the cards.

You captured my heart
and you hold it still
even though it’s nothing but shards.

Pauline Schneider created a song from the poem. It is embedded below.

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Same-day update: My 4 July 2014 interview on Truth Jihad Radio is linked here. I was interviewed, along with Carolyn Baker, by Kevin Barrett.

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Mark Thoma’s film is complete. A trailer for 22 After is embedded below, and you can follow the action on Facebook here.

TRAILER 1a from mark thoma on Vimeo.

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El Empleo / The Employment from opusBou on Vimeo.

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I delivered a 20-minute presentation to kick off the forum with H. Leighton Steward. From 4 June 2014, it’s embedded below.

GuyCO2Wyoming from Pauline Schneider on Vimeo.

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I’ll be interviewed Saturday, 12 July 2014 at noon Eastern time in the United States (9:00 a.m. on the western coast). Catch in on your digital device here.

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I’ll be interviewed by Carolyn Baker on the Lifeboat Hour Sunday, 13 July 2014 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time in the United States (5:00 p.m. on the western coast). Read about it here.

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McPherson’s next book will be co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind has been submitted to the publisher and is scheduled for release before 1 October 2014.

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

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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 80

  • Nilsson does it better!

  • Here is a lovely little web site to forward to your unconvinced loved ones.

    “This website began on April 22, 1998 with the posting
    of the article below. (The article is still here to provide
    historical context.) Following the article are more than
    300 links to recent authoritative reports and updates
    about the current mass extinction. New articles are
    added regularly. (Most recent update May 12, 2014.)”

    http://www.mysterium.com/extinction.html

  • “Nature Bats Last is the only space in this world dedicated to near-term human extinction. Future essays will focus on this phenomenon, which suggests less-frequent essays in the near future. If a contribution is not directly related to the topic of near-term human extinction, it will not be posted here. Occasional exceptions will be granted to the publisher for social criticism and self-indulgent, personal anecdotes.”

    It should be noted that the Batter Up! section of the forum is more than willing to accept all manner of essays, rants, foolishness, “solutions” and disrespectful attacks upon the rich and poor alike. We have at best ten to fifteen years left to vent our spleens before the only concern will be who gets the last can of peaches. I can offer no hope no cure no wisdom nor insight. Other than cheap laughs and minor surface scratching thoughts, I have nothing to offer. There’s so little time and so little to do. Why not blab on about it?

  • Well Grant, did u get a clue and watch the video I provided or do you already know better?

  • FUD KILLS
    We take a perfectly good seed, mix in some bacteria genes, apply liberal doses of deadly poisons all to ensure growth. After harvest, we process it with man made synthetic DNA along with exotic chemicals and just a dash of weirding nano-particles. Then we serve it for school lunches. How will we teach them our food is causing a mass extinction and planetary burn out? How can we teach them we did it for love of money and power? How are these poor little fuckers gonna win?
    After billions of our kids soon die in a flash orgy of war and hunger, after the near term mass extinction of all life on earth, after the planet starts to recover from global warming a thousand or so years from now, and finally, after the nuclear waste radiation eventually burns itself out, our last and lasting legacy will be genetically modified mutant plants. They will be all that’s left.
    If these X-plants ever achieve sentience, they may wonder who their wise maker was. That’s what you get when you genetically combine animals with plants just for something new to eat. That’s what bacteria is, a microscopic animal. Some philosophers suspect we are just another way for water and bacteria to get around. I hope these future animal-plants are mobile. Just think of walking talking flowers. Wave bye bye to them, our future offspring, progeny of a once sterile race of monkeys who thought they were smarter and better than everyone else. As Franky once said, “It’s Alive!”

  • RC, just say no to crack!

  • Guy,

    Thank you for attempting to lower the decibel level going forward. A more focused discussion is welcome.

  • IMHO, Daniel’s NBL epic of over a year ago is the single best essay on doom and the most important of our time, if not longer.

    Daniel says: “I am of the opinion that all dialog post-acceptance of NTE is manifestly commiserative.”

    The irreconcilable acceptance of near-term extinction

    Commiseration

    I sit here and wait for the end
    With no more than an ear to lend;
    For what’s now in store,
    We don’t need much more,
    ‘Cause it won’t be too long now, my friend.

  • I’m not even a nihilist, but focused on what?

  • fgsg

    do try to keep up!

  • Brunswickian, you want us to watch a 45 minute video within which a woman who hypnotizes herself back to the stone age to look for some vague clue, and you think I’m on crack? lol. you must be on mushrooms or LSD.

  • Same-day update: My 4 July 2014 interview on Truth Jihad Radio is linked here. I was interviewed, along with Carolyn Baker, by Kevin Barrett.

  • @ GUY

    You are the very best of the best my friend. You rank up there with Eduardo Galeano. (Just received his “Children of the Days” – It is sensational. Absolutely mind bogglin’)

    BTW, here is an article you are probably aware of that was published recently on CounterPunch.org. This woman ranks with you and Galeano. There are very few writers that make perfect sense and harmony.

    I think it may have been written much earlier because I remember seeing it somewhere some time ago.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/03/dying-by-two-degrees/

    I’m going to stay with you (glad you are going to filter a bit) until my end, which may be sooner or later. I have a few things to tidy up but not much. I have had an unusually perfect life w/o much PTSD as compared to so many others.

    Press on young man!

  • Hmm. Look, I believe we will go up by about 4 c by 2050. But we won’t be extinct. Lots of talk on nbl, but does anyone want to put their money where there mouth is? I didn’t think so.

  • This MIdden Earth

    In heat, the melting ice of glaciers
    slipping ever quicker to the sea
    as if they yearned, also, for the pleasures
    of anihilation. Could you be
    my little Nina, sending painful tempests
    to the parched and fire swept hills of Eden?

    Rising tides, ocean breakers kissing
    at the feet of cliffs standing ten thousand
    years in lonely isolation. And here I, missing
    my life and those of a hundred generations,
    heard nature’s truth: empty nests,
    and all those wings unbeaten.

    In the running cracks, in the hollows,
    across widening plains and pillows,
    silent warming earth pursues and fallows,
    it dries the tears of willows,
    ’til all the tumbling turning rests,
    and all the joyous hills are turned to midden.

  • Kurt has this puzzler: “Lots of talk on nbl, but does anyone want to put their money where there mouth is? I didn’t think so.”

    I have no idea what this means. As far as I know, no one here is rooting for human extinction, though few are sorry to see us go. Not sure where this is going though. Would I bet $1 that the human race will be extinct before 2050? Sure. But who will be alive to honor the bet? Will I be bitterly disappointed if people are still alive in 2050, myself included? I suppose not. I will be 89 though, if I manage to actually live that long. It’s not as if anyone can build themselves an extinction-proof tree fort, but there are plenty who appear to be trying.

    Poetry corner! I’m doing this off the top of my head, but I think this is how it goes. By Robert Heard:

    Here a pretty baby lies
    Sung to sleep with lullabies
    Pray be quiet and do not stir
    The gentle earth that covers her.

  • Yeah, it looks pretty fucking hopeless, and yet, there are beautiful actions to be done for other beautiful people. I will drive my picket pin into the ground with deep green resistance and become one of Lierre’s so desperately hoped for 2%.

  • i have strongly mixed reactions to the earth poem (btw, i’m curious why no author’s name attached?). i found it sort of maudlin. i don’t like anthropomorphizing other species, or our ‘strong’ planet. i don’t embrace the guilt trip either, for the most part. i didn’t ask to be born, period, and certainly not into this nightmare. lacking free will, how can i be at fault? (other than by going on living) sigh. we were born into this

    ‘Paralyzed to inaction by shackles of culture.

    When will I let go,
    as I tell others to do?
    When will I dive head-first into my future?’ -from the poem

    i’m paralyzed by the conviction of my/our impotence. the first line quoted above seems to imply that some kind of effective action is possible, if only the author could overcome her/his ‘shackles of culture’. sweetheart, u can immolate yourself in the middle of times square in nyc on new year’s eve, surrounded by thousands of sheeple, on (inter)national tv, in protest against u name it: corporations, banksters, ‘elites’, the whole fucking shooting match, agw, or the ongoing overall ecocidal insanity of industrialized homo callidus/inanis… do u surreally think it’s going to change anything?

    i also fear death, am addicted to living so long as the misery/pain can be held in check, and their is pleasure/joy. so i haven’t committed suicide, nor anticipating doing so soon. i must admit to some guilt, but it’s easy to rationalize away. after having been raised catholic, i’ve had enough of wallowing in shame/guilt.

    ‘You captured my heart
    and you hold it still
    even though it’s nothing but shards’

    very poetic/pretty. as art, i give this poem a superlative grade. despite the faults i found, i dug/loved it.

    ‘Other than cheap laughs and minor surface scratching thoughts, I have nothing to offer’ -grant

    cheap laughs r the best. good chuckles and great belly laughs r always welcome/appreciated. keep em comin, schreiber.

    ass gas stinks surreally bad, and we’re all so ashamed of and humiliated by our nasty ass farts, aren’t we? thank gaia for a sense of humor. we can laugh at the mere mention of them. kind of puts our pretentious asses in their proper places. perhaps we laugh in gratitude. pretentiousness is no fucking fun! farting can be lots of fun.

  • Meanwhile, the Beat Goes On here in Alaska

    Independence Day, Alaska Style

    now UP on the Diner Blog!

    SAMSUNG CSC

    Going off the Cliff the Alaska Way.

    RE

  • Planet for sale. Badly worn.

  • Human industry trespass upon life leaves a festering gash, a wound going septic, necrotic, metastatic. Wilting landscapes befuddle the imagination, orientation mystified.

    In the space between ‘collapse’ & ‘extinction’ or has been usurped by and. Alive in the tragedy, plot firmly defined. Directorial instructions: Ad libitum. The show must go on.

    A graduated series of cultural shockwaves break through the indifference barrier of privilege. Initially generated by comfort erosion, the mechanism cascades into lack of necessities. Collapse and extinction.

    Blurriness intensifies fear. Anticipating more unforeseen ‘Oh, shit!’ moments. What’s that? a beast breathing so heavily? Moaning… sounds hungry or maybe in a world of hurt. Hmmm… Should I look?

    There… recoiled in terror… the frightened beast stares back at me from the gilded mirror. Cornered and ferocious in every way.

    I wondered if it would be excessively self indulgent to have pity on the poor soul. Then I realized I had no prior experience flying a kite like that into a night like this… oh well, dam the fireworks, full string ahead.

  • Robert Scribbler gets some of the basic chemistry/physics completely wrong (for example, at 34, H2S is only marginally heavier than air (29) and at 64, SO2 is a lot heavier than air, not as he states: ‘Though hydrogen sulfide is slightly heavier than air, tending to pool at lower elevations, it is light enough to be born aloft by winds to various layers of the atmosphere and its even lighter sulfur dioxide products are quite a bit more mobile.) but does highlight a potential NTE factor.

    https://robertscribbler.com/2014/01/21/awakening-the-horrors-of-the-ancient-hothouse-hydrogen-sulfide-in-the-worlds-warming-oceans/

  • “That’s what you get when you genetically combine animals with plants just for something new to eat. That’s what bacteria is, a microscopic animal. ”

    The five kingdoms are bacteria, archaea, fungi, plants and animals. Fungi, plants and animals have discrete nuclei carrying their DNA and are called eukaryotes. Almost all of them have bacterial relics that are usually purposed to process oxygen and that are called mitochondria. A few have lost the need for oxygen and their former mitochondria have been modified and repurposed. It is believed that the first eukaryote formed when an archaean engulfed a bacterium.

    It is well known that about 40% of the non-coding DNA (that does not have the code for the assembly of specific amino acid sequences into proteins) in humans is the remnants of retroviruses that became incorporated into the DNA of our evolutionary ancestors. Some coding DNA also is from retroviruses, with the functions co-opted from the viruses. The most well known is the syncytin protein that causes cell membranes to fuse, creating large expanses of cell with multiple cell nuclei, like a slime mould. It is essential for the formation of the outermost layer of the placenta (the syncytial trophoblast), in direct contact with maternal blood. Such protein is used by viruses to fuse their outer layer with the outer membrane of their host cell when they invade cells.

    Somewhere in the lineage of mammals around 120 million years ago, egg-laying mammals gave rise to the pouched mammals (marsupials) and also the placental mammals. The latter was made possible by a viral infection in the common ancestor of the placental mammals. The viral DNA was incorporated into the germ cell line of the placentals, and the syncytin function was co-opted for all of us.

    At the microbial level, swapping DNA between organisms is quite common, and it is the mechanism by which disparate species of bacteria can transfer antibiotic resistance to each other.

    Plants have the five sensory modalities that we have. So do the networks of single cell thick chains of fungi underground that join and branch in complex patterns extending for miles. They send signals across the microscopic gaps between cells using the same chemical neurotransmitters found in us. Their signals may take minutes to days, instead of our milliseconds. If they are sentient, there may be almost no discernible common ground between their awareness and ours. A thousand of our ages (7,000 years) may to them be indeed like an evening gone (milliseconds vs. hours).

    Michael Pollan’s article on plant intelligence

    Derrick Jensen’s interview of Paul Stamets about fungal intelligence

  • I knew who wrote the poem right away. I recognized the style. Anyway, reading a poem once is a waste of time. I’ve read the above a couple of times now and I recognize many themes that Guy has touched on in other writings or speaking engagements. It’s powerful beyond my words to express. I feel that if I were to read through it again, at this moment, it would be too much for me to handle. Feeling is good. Often it hurts, but it’s good, go for it!

  • @Henry (previous thread)
    Yep…like you said. I’d be careful about snakes in general, but I think you got your one-time indulgence when he pretended to not hear the enquiry about mole babies. I hear it’s kind of a Fight Club thing with them, the snakes that is…the mole babies never get a chance to breach FC security.
    .
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    .
    @logspirit
    I scan many of your posts if the first few lines don’t grab me, but I sipped this one very slowly and was impressed. Nice touch with the mirror.
    .
    .
    .
    @tvt
    Oh, you too? Condolences.

    .
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    @kevin moore
    Planet for sale.
    Badly worn.
    Extended warranty plan not available.
    Furnished with 7B+ humans.
    Depopulate as needed at buyer’s expense.


    .
    .
    .
    @kurt
    So, you quoting odds or anything like a point spread in months?
    And where do we escrow the funds…not that I don’t trust you, but what if you personally die before then? Gonna put me in your will or something? Not sure if a probate judge would go for that. But hey, nos homines callidi, we can figure something out. Maybe RE has an app for this kind of wager…

  • Well Guy, I wasn’t sure where to post this, but after reading what you had showed, said, and so on, on your site, and after researching a lot on my own, I to have come to the same conclusion as you. I to think the game is over, although I have a somewhat different ending in mind, enough said. As another proof that things are very much out of hand, over really, I wanted to share what I found today.

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

    There are other eye opening discoveries listed, but this was profound to me.

    The other thing I came to realize while reading other articles found here, was that I don’t believe it will take long before the oceans are adding more and more to the carbon positive feedback loops. I say this because, for the first time, I come to understand that the oceans are already taking on a lot of natural carbon in addition to what we are introducing into it, such as undersea volcano’s, which is something I had never considered. This is relevant, as I’m sure you already know, because that means the oceans will become more saturated with c02 quicker, thus releasing more and more co2 in the atmosphere then taking in sooner and quicker, or so I think. If I’m wrong, then I stand corrected, let you be the judge.

    Anyways, I don’t know why I wrote this on your site, other then to say that I hear you loud and clear, and have now join the choir. In any case….

  • Kevin Moore
    Don’t get bent out of shape. A lot of folks snoozed through chemistry class. That is if the took chemistry in the first place. And despite much averring that “all men are created equal”, those “all men” are not endowed with equal numbers of synapses between their ears. Not too many neuroscientists among those foundling fathers, it would seem.

    For anyone who had kept one eye and one ear open in chemistry class, it would be a simple task to look up the atomic weights of the elements constituting each molecule, courtesy of Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Eric Schmidt et al.

  • There Is No Fat Left in the Land
    http://oilcrash.com/articles/poems.htm
    there is no fat left in the land
    we’ve sucked poor Gaia dry
    we’ve partied while we raped and burned
    what’s left? Who knows? Not i

    we’re predators who’ve preyed ‘til now
    on everything we saw
    but all that’s left to prey upon
    is us. So now it’s war.

    The strong will prey upon the weak
    the young upon the old
    to keep the middle class alive
    our children will be sold

    descent to bloody anarchy
    will shred our civil skin
    the truth of what we really are
    is just now sinking in

    we’re all so nice and proper
    when Gaia foots the bill
    but now the piper must be paid
    that means we have to kill

    “we have to kill the bankers
    the politicians too
    the CEOs and billionairs
    kill them and all their crew

    and all with aspirations
    to grow and grow and grow
    we’d better knock that on the head
    and put their heads on show”

    and when were scabbling in the dirt
    for anything to eat
    and almost everyone is dead
    “oh boy will that be sweet”

    we’ll be what we were in the days
    before our “reason” dawned
    before we dreamed that we were gods
    before our greed was spawned

    we’ll fade and die a species
    that might have had the stars
    but lacked some fundamental thing
    we used up in our cars

    first published: 06/26/2011 at http://energybulletin.net/

  • CHOKING HAZARD

    by Patrick Lima

    What in the end will choke us?

    The virtuous kale, fibrous as hay?
    A stringy pineapple stinking of jet fuel, ag chems and harm?

    A hasty sandwich on the run – turkey too dry, bacon too sharp – more than we could chew?

    Or will it be the scorched and chambered air,
    gas-filled, rippling with radiation,
    all manner of dust and destruction whirling in the wind?

    Or sweet lake waters
    warm as life
    mercy swallowed
    lungs o’re-flowing
    a drowning flash
    then done?

    What in the end will choke us?
    Our own vomit? Words?

    Tears more like.

  • Hi Guy,
    When I first found your website and you work it was through essays posted on the Energy Bulletin.I would read alot of the peak oil info and was always pleased to see your essays since they were among the few that had anything to do with the rest of the natural world.
    It was refreshing (in a grief inspiring,painful kind of way) to have someone reminding people that we weren’t the only was that would suffer from what humans have done.

    To know that there are others that see what we do to the rest of life and care,lightens the burden of knowing somewhat.

    I have a question. You wrote – “If a contribution is not directly related to the topic of near-term human extinction, it will not be posted here.”

    Will you still welcome discussion and commiseration on the extinction of the rest of life or are you going to be focusing primarily on Humans?

    Henry asked – Enveloped with grief, that little, occasional spark of anger feels embarrassingly inadequate to the occasion… anyone else feel this way?

    YES Henry. Grief is my constant companion. Last night I sat out after sunset a watched for any sign of bats. No bats all summer. (Lots of exploding fireworks in the distance though).
    The hundreds of milkweed are in full bloom and not s single Monarch Butterfly.
    I can barely look at another living thing without asking forgiveness.

  • Thanks for seeking clarification, thestormcrow. The ongoing Sixth Great Extinction threatens our survival, so essays about the Sixth Great Extinction are directly related to our own extinction.

  • “Henry asked – Enveloped with grief, that little, occasional spark of anger feels embarrassingly inadequate to the occasion… anyone else feel this way?”

    If humans are very dangerous creatures, as Kevin suggests, they can be dangerous to TPTB instead of to ordinary people around them. It’s a case of channeling that killer drive (which I assume is our natural heritage) onto where it’s really needed. That would be a legitimate use for the rage we seem to be born with. TPTB are only doing what they can get away with because we refuse to work together, as a whole, to discipline them. That’s not good for them either.

  • There have sometimes been rather bitter exchanges here between those who support the crude social darwinist selfish gene type of view, e.g. Herbert Spencer, and those who support the co-operation between all species makes life possible point of view, e.g. Kropotkin (to over-simplify).

    Here’s a neat piece of research that demonstrates mutualism between bird and bacteria.

  • @ ulvfugl (whose handle looks like an interesting rack of Scrabble letters, no words at first lance, then fug and gulf emerge – and luv and guv)

    It’s been said that all truth is paradoxical, and if that’s true (and, I guess, it’d have to be not true, as well), then surely it’s possible to hold in mind both the crude social Darwinism of competitiveness, Randian selfishness, survival of the fittest and/or most aggressive, nature red in tooth and claw and all that, ALONG WITH the (to me, obvious) reality of mutuality, interdependence, co-operation, life needing and supporting and taking care of other life for the benefit of the whole.

    A therapist I crossed paths with said that he no longer lets his clients/patients use the word ‘selfish’ in a prerogative sense – selfishness, bad. He went on to say that we (and presumably other creatures) can’t help being selfish; we can, however, decide whether to be smart-selfish or stupid-selfish.

    Seems to me that mutuality, care and co-operation are smart-selfish, enlightened self-interest recognizing that harm done to other beings equates finally to self-harm. While aggressive competitiveness (which seems to be a human thing,grasping, warring all around, and the incessant war on the rest of life) is the nadir of stupid selfishness).

    Yesterday I helped a friend ‘process’ some quail. Two by two we took them from their coop. I held one snugly and calmly against my belly and heart, while friend dispatched – well, decapitated – his and held it upside down to bleed out. In less than 5 minutes each quail went from a warm peeping cheeping feathered creature to a skinned and gutted chunk of nourishing (and quite tasty) fowl-flesh: life to death to life.

    I couldn’t look at the first few head snips, but then thought: You hypocrite, you’ll buy the occasional roasted chicken without a thought to the life the bird had and how she died and what’s in the meat…and you turn away from this basic and (only slightly) bloody reality. Get with it! Mostly I eat vegetables.

  • More than a year ago, Daniel says:

    The fumes from our vested interests and our past ethical bearing can sustain us for only so long, until the very fabric of our presumed consciousness starts to unravel in light of such disquieting imminence. The entire conversation on NBL in regard to NTE is an evolutionary process in reverse. We will not continue to evolve under its appalling shroud, but digress over time into incomprehensible states of being….

    But because “our acceptance” is totally subjective, in a collective forum such as this (NBL), our collective understanding of NTE will probably be kept in a permanent embryonic state, as a constant stream of new adherents reluctantly, haphazardly and gradually come to terms at whatever pace our individual acceptance takes to run its grieving course.
    Whereby, as everyone’s mind implodes at different times and at varying degrees, it will effectively keep the conversation in a nascent stage of maturation. Our shared patterned behavior will repeat again and again, as we all jump back and forth between the oscillating highs and lows, where some days we achieve a peak of lucidity, only to lose ourselves in a trough of despair as we attempt to wrestle with the unfolding magnitude of the discovery we’ve unearthed.

    The irreconcilable acceptance of near-term extinction

  • While the daily news is never short of exemplar material that completely encapsulates humanities absurd folly, this little piece might set a new low.

    How do you put a positive spin on extinction? Well, just change the meaning of language of course. Take the word apocalypse and the word optimist and presto! I’m feeling better already, enter the ‘Apocaloptimist’: someone who knows it’s all going to shit, but still thinks it will turn out ok.

    I’m not kidding!

    Here is Andrew Simms latest absurd attempt to turn shit into Shinola. His seven goods reasons to be an Apocaloptimist:

    “1. I tried being miserable and expecting the worst about big world problems (nuclear devastation, acid rain etc) as a teenager and it just made me miserable and expect the worst.
    2. It made everyone around me miserable too.
    3. Being defeatist makes it harder to get off your arse to do something that might actually change things and bring about a better outcome. Doing something also makes you feel better (there’s good research on this) and hence likely to do more, creating a positive cycle. Win, win.
    4. At the same time, I want to stare the challenge in the face, such as global carbon emissions hitting a record high. Being in denial of the facts would be like walking backwards down a motorway, against the flow of traffic, and that would make me nervous.
    5. To ignore the facts would also mean never considering answers big enough for the size of the problem and so not even looking to see if they existed – which would be a shame if they do (I think they do) as we’re talking about preserving a climate fit for civilisation.
    6. Being positive about the possibility of overcoming seemingly insuperable odds has history on its side: abolition, suffrage, civil rights, ozone depletion, universal healthcare (surprises are everywhere, in spite of all you read to the contrary. For example, the NHS is, objectively, the world’s best health system). And, regardless, you really never know how big, complex problems are going to work out.
    7. Staying in bed too long contemplating the potential pointlessness of it all gives me a headache. Being positive, yet aware of just how precarious things are, feels realistic, open and an important acknowledgement that I’m fortunate to be able to act. It also gets me out of bed in the morning to make a cup of tea, and I like tea. And, I can’t think of a better way to be alive in the world than trying to solve the great challenges of the age.”

    Personally, I find antidisestablishmentextinctionarianism rolls off the tongue a little easier.

  • @Benjamin- thanks for the snippets from Daniel’s magnum opus posting of a year ago.
    Nice to appreciate it in small doses like this.
    .
    @Robin- enjoyed your post (7:14). I read the whole thing plus both excellent links when I should’ve been out tending the okra!
    .
    @ulvfugl- yes, mutualism. Yet another reason that makes the idea of moving humans to a different planet so ludicrous, even if it were possible. One must think in terms of moving intact ecosystems. And under closer scrutiny, where do you draw the line around where one ecosystem ends and another begins? I suspect that even the unique pull of the moon and the stars on us from this particular vantage point in the universe is essential.

  • I’ve been laying low for a spell Guy, wonderful prose sir it warms the heart of this Canadian and I thank you for it.

    Now for the others reading this terrific blog, its into the top of the seventh in my humble opinion, this is some of my proof, unbelievable yet true…

    http://www.vocativ.com/culture/society/dicks-pick-trucks-meme-rollin-coal/

  • Artleads,

    A+ on your BioPhysics > Tackle TPTB HO ! Lead on , with brain scans of TPTB in hand !

  • On the positive side of the account books, human extinction will mean no more cringingly bad poems.

  • Guy ? Bueller ? Anyone ?

    Guy often refers to approx 200 species per day going extinct.

    I checked the Climate Change Update page and couldn’t find anything that shows where this figure comes from.

    I would be interested in 2 things:

    1) Anything that shows where the 200/day estimate comes from, and
    2) Anything that has an estimate of what the number was in the
    pre-fossil fuel age.

    ——————————-
    Today’s Deal or No Deal with the Dev’l

    Dev’l: 200 species/day or she has to gargle with liquid nitrogen

    Me: Do we get to choose the species ?

  • Paul Demorest,

    Kirk Hamilton shared this on the forum:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202504874728507

    I see such things as rolling coal, death-cult tattoos, and giant “weed” whackers as examples of a kind of survival-blind aesthetics. I’d like to know what others think.

    burrowingowl,

    I was thinking more along the lines of slipping some sugar in TPTB’s gas tank when it was CERTAIN no one was looking. But there’d need to be an awful lot of sugar slippers out there. Definitely nothing like a charge on my end anyway.

    Let those who are not charge-averse do some charging. Whatever painful experience I have with disciplining children (as parent or substitute teacher, and since I see TPTB as children of a sort), the lesson seemed to be that kids respond dramatically to what those in charge are THINKING. If the one in charge couldn’t even conceive of accepting destructive behavior, such behavior is not forthcoming. And vice versa. It has little to do with punishment.

  • artleads

    I feel that these behaviors are the result of cognitive dissonance on steroids. I believe it will only get worse/more entertaining.

    I like to think of the rolling coal boys as fossil fuel flagellants.

  • “someone who knows it’s all going to shit, but still thinks it will turn out ok.”

    “the NHS is, objectively, the world’s best health system)”

    “when I should’ve been out tending the okra!”

    People’s favourite foods tend to be the ones that their mothers put in their mouths when they are too young to have firm opinions. Roasted termites in sub-Saharan Africa; raw herring in Scandinavia. I am at an age when I would pass on both of those items, but, to me, okra is delicious, unlike to so many others around me.

    “moving intact ecosystems.”

    It was tried both in the Soviet Union and in ‘mericuh to establish closed ecosystems including humans on the surface of the earth. They failed miserably. Google “biosphere” for details.

    “I suspect that even the unique pull of the moon and the stars on us from this particular vantage point in the universe is essential.”

    It has been suggested that the presence of a substantial moon in a planet-moon system is essential to allow the formation of complex life, by deflecting most major asteroid strikes through their combined gravitational effects. The center of gravity of the combined system (which lies somewhere between the two, and acts as the center of mass for the combined system from a distance) guides most asteroids into courses that miss the actual masses.

    A similar effect may be operating in systems with appropriately placed gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn, guiding away from the inner planets larger asteroids and comets from even more remote locations.

    The lunar tides may have played a role in the invasion of land by sea-dwelling creatures, by leaving them “high & dry” on a regular basis.

    This one’s from the World Wildlife Fund, but in spite of that bias, it ain’t too far off base. And it is short & simple (perhaps too short and too simple for the more academically inclined).
    How many species are we losing?

    A lot more can be found by googling or google scholaring “current global species extinction rates” or some such search query.

  • Robert Firth says: On the positive side of the account books, human extinction will mean no more cringingly bad poems.

    If the poetry bug hasn’t bitten,
    That’s O.K., ‘cause we got to be gittin’;
    And all of that shit
    Will be gone once we split,
    As if it had never been written.

  • United Nations claims 150-200 species driven to extinction each day. I suspect this is a typically conservative estimate, as it’s from 2010.

  • “someone who knows it’s all going to shit, but still thinks it will turn out ok.”

    Actually for multicellular organisms, it’s been going to hell for each individual since the advent of multicellularity. Biologically, each one of us is a temporary vehicle for DNA that continues on in its own merry way, long after we are history.

    “the NHS is, objectively, the world’s best health system”

    Folks awaiting hip surgery had to have their preoperative history and physical examinations done by their general practitioners to get in the queue that could be as long as two years. Meanwhile when they had a heart attack a few weeks before the scheduled surgery and were admitted to, treated and discharged home, no part of that appeared on their preoperative record. The surgeon went by the out-of-date record; such elective non-cardiac surgery in the period immediately after a heart attack is associated with a very high mortality. So the operations were sometimes successful, but the patients died.

  • From the long running program, The Nature of Things, with David Suzuki.
    Wild Canada “The Eternal Frontier” (1/5)

    Lots of discussion on how the first nations people of Canada shaped the land to their needs thousand’s of years before my European ancestors got here. I bet they would still be living the same way if not for European influence and conquest. You could say the way they lived was actually sustainable.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IHYDg0XQFk

  • Guy & Robin,

    Thanks for the leads. So around 200/day >> 75,000/year or so, which is near the figure on the WWF page if the top estimate of 100M species are here now.

    I’m trying/hoping to get a handle on what the differential is between now and before fossil fuel usage at scale. But from the WWF site it sure looks like the yearly or daily figures are derived by applying a fraction of from 1/1000 to 1/10,000 to an estimate of how many total species there are. If anyone has handy info on how either the fractional range or the total number of species is arrived at, please post a link(s) if convenient.

    Glad I’m not in the species tabulating/estimating biz. A factor of 50 (from 2M up to 100M) sounds like a lot of room for indeterminacy. Maybe they’ll get it more pinned down (yes, like bugs in a display case) before the last human draws her last breath in Afghanistan (if Kipling is anything to go by).

    Sorry, no YT clip…oh, wait…here’s one for the hospice crowd…

  • There are signs,pointing to Earth,throughout the Universe giving aliens directions.

    All the signs say:”ZOO”.

  • https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329762.700-consciousness-onoff-switch-discovered-deep-in-brain.html?full=true

    Consciousness on-off switch discovered deep in brain

    ONE moment you’re conscious, the next you’re not. For the first time, researchers have switched off consciousness by electrically stimulating a single brain area.

    Scientists have been probing individual regions of the brain for over a century, exploring their function by zapping them with electricity and temporarily putting them out of action. Despite this, they have never been able to turn off consciousness – until now.

    Although only tested in one person, the discovery suggests that a single area – the claustrum – might be integral to combining disparate brain activity into a seamless package of thoughts, sensations and emotions. It takes us a step closer to answering a problem that has confounded scientists and philosophers for millennia – namely how our conscious awareness arises.

    Many theories abound but most agree that consciousness has to involve the integration of activity from several brain networks, allowing us to perceive our surroundings as one single unifying experience rather than isolated sensory perceptions.

    One proponent of this idea was Francis Crick, a pioneering neuroscientist who earlier in his career had identified the structure of DNA. Just days before he died in July 2004, Crick was working on a paper that suggested our consciousness needs something akin to an orchestra conductor to bind all of our different external and internal perceptions together.

    With his colleague Christof Koch, at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, he hypothesised that this conductor would need to rapidly integrate information across distinct regions of the brain and bind together information arriving at different times. For example, information about the smell and colour of a rose, its name, and a memory of its relevance, can be bound into one conscious experience of being handed a rose on Valentine’s day.

    The pair suggested that the claustrum – a thin, sheet-like structure that lies hidden deep inside the brain – is perfectly suited to this job (Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B, doi.org/djjw5m).

    It now looks as if Crick and Koch were on to something. In a study published last week, Mohamad Koubeissi at the George Washington University in Washington DC and his colleagues describe how they managed to switch a woman’s consciousness off and on by stimulating her claustrum. The woman has epilepsy so the team were using deep brain electrodes to record signals from different brain regions to work out where her seizures originate. One electrode was positioned next to the claustrum, an area that had never been stimulated before.

    When the team zapped the area with high frequency electrical impulses, the woman lost consciousness. She stopped reading and stared blankly into space, she didn’t respond to auditory or visual commands and her breathing slowed. As soon as the stimulation stopped, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of the event. The same thing happened every time the area was stimulated during two days of experiments (Epilepsy and Behavior, doi.org/tgn).

    To confirm that they were affecting the woman’s consciousness rather than just her ability to speak or move, the team asked her to repeat the word “house” or snap her fingers before the stimulation began. If the stimulation was disrupting a brain region responsible for movement or language she would have stopped moving or talking almost immediately. Instead, she gradually spoke more quietly or moved less and less until she drifted into unconsciousness. Since there was no sign of epileptic brain activity during or after the stimulation, the team is sure that it wasn’t a side effect of a seizure.

    Koubeissi thinks that the results do indeed suggest that the claustrum plays a vital role in triggering conscious experience. “I would liken it to a car,” he says. “A car on the road has many parts that facilitate its movement – the gas, the transmission, the engine – but there’s only one spot where you turn the key and it all switches on and works together. So while consciousness is a complicated process created via many structures and networks – we may have found the key.” [there’s more]

  • https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/exclusive-controversial-us-scientist-creates-deadly-new-flu-strain-for-pandemic-research-9577088.html

    Exclusive: Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research

    A controversial scientist who carried out provocative research on making influenza viruses more infectious has completed his most dangerous experiment to date by deliberately creating a pandemic strain of flu that can evade the human immune system.

    Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu in order for it to “escape” the control of the immune system’s neutralising antibodies, effectively making the human population defenceless against its reemergence.

    Most of the world today has developed some level of immunity to the 2009 pandemic flu virus, which means that it can now be treated as less dangerous “seasonal flu”. However, The Independent understands that Professor Kawaoka intentionally set out to see if it was possible to convert it to a pre-pandemic state in order to analyse the genetic changes involved.

    The study is not published, however some scientists who are aware of it are horrified that Dr Kawaoka was allowed to deliberately remove the only defence against a strain of flu virus that has already demonstrated its ability to create a deadly pandemic that killed as many as 500,000 people in the first year of its emergence.

    [read the rest]

  • Anybody here watching “The Leftovers” on HBO? Caught the first one last night and won’t be watching anymore. Read the book and don’t remember it as so graphically violent as the show.

    Anyway, 2% of the world’s population mysteriously vanishes into thin air. Rapture? Well, some of them weren’t that good. So basically, people go batshit crazy.

    And that is with no disposal problem….millions of people’s bodies just vanish.

    No worries, though. Civilization proceeds apace. People still have food and electricity.

    Extremely disturbing show. Feel like I need my brain washed.

  • “It takes us a step closer to answering a problem that has confounded scientists and philosophers for millennia – namely how our conscious awareness arises.”

    The tradition from many millennia ago invokes the sun and buckets of water metaphor. If the appropriate conditions are met, viz. buckets (=bodies) and water in them (=minds, the functions of parts of the body – brains), then the presence of the sun overhead has its reflection in each bucket. Each appears to be a light source, even though none of the minds are conscious on their own, just as the moon is not a light source on its own.

    “consciousness needs something akin to an orchestra conductor to bind all of our different external and internal perceptions together.”

    All these parts are necessary but not sufficient. They form the conditions in which the reflection of the sun is seen, and seems to be a light source in the bucket itself.

    “information about the smell and colour of a rose, its name, and a memory of its relevance,”

    All these items are “of”s in “awareness of”. Awareness is not an “of”, even though it illuminates all “of”s, all thoughts. The central “of” is the thought “I” as distinct from “not-I”, as in “I am a conscious being”. It is as if the reflection in the bucket averred “I am a source of light”. This central “I” thought is known as the “I-maker” (ahankara).

    “how they managed to switch a woman’s consciousness off and on”

    They did not switch the sun on and off; they put a lid on the bucket and took it off.

    “So while consciousness is a complicated process created via many structures and networks”

    The reflection is made possible by the bucket (body) and the water (mind = also referred to as the subtle body, the sukshma sarira). The light of the reflection is created neither by the bucket nor by the water.

    Few perceive the difference between “awareness” and “of” in “awareness of”. No amount of research will enable any scientist to perceive this in oneself. “Awareness” is not an “of”. It is as close as wetness is to water, but as imperceptible as wetness may be to a fish. To recognise that one is not a bucket and water, nor a light originating from the bucket+water, but the Light of all lights, is to be forever free from all buckets and their waters. And yet the rays streaming from the sun to the bucket are invisible: just as the rays streaming from the sun to the moon are invisible, with only darkness apparent in that space.

    As a great scientist of the self once said “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see G_d”. All practices ultimately lead through this.

  • Thanks, Apneaman

    “artleads

    I feel that these behaviors are the result of cognitive dissonance on steroids. I believe it will only get worse/more entertaining.”

    Could it be that cognitive dissonance functions here like ’cause’, while coal rolling and forest whacking are ‘effects’? If so, what go to make up these effects? Notions about bravado an conquest?

    I think I’ve read where people thought smoke coming out of a factory was beautiful. Speed, noise, energy, freeways, clear-cutting, trawling…any sort of clearing away, paving over, blasting of nature’s impediment. All this suggesting manliness and mastery, a sort of patriarchal “style”. I’m just trying to get my mind around this.

    The complete opposite of this is Pat’s call to build no cities and plant no crops. Is that a feminist aesthetic?

  • @ lark

    Norwegian, ulf = wolf, fugl = bird, as in German, vogel, English, fowl.
    Wolfbird being vernacular for raven, in Scandinavia and Native American, because they associate with wolves, however usual Norwegian is Rafn.

    Re what you said, I think it becomes complicated for humans because of culture which is highly variable and can be manipulated by ideology.
    So human social conduct does not necessarily reflect any deeper truths about biological relationships.

    I have my own personal quest to try and better understand what is is that we are killing, destroying, ‘Life on Earth’. Looks like we are never going to know. The Semiosphere, The Mesh.

    http://www.monsangelorum.net/?p=11908

    @ wren

    @ulvfugl- yes, mutualism. Yet another reason that makes the idea of moving humans to a different planet so ludicrous, even if it were possible. One must think in terms of moving intact ecosystems. And under closer scrutiny, where do you draw the line around where one ecosystem ends and another begins? I suspect that even the unique pull of the moon and the stars on us from this particular vantage point in the universe is essential.

    Yes. So complex and intricate, everything talking to everything else, all the time. I believe that’s why we go extinct, we stopped listening, because of hubris. Much of that due to the arrogance of science, or better, mechanistic scientism, which I see as a disaster. Materialism plus capitalism plus the monotheisms, the whole lot really. A recipe for extinction.

    Whatever the truth we eventually settle on, it seems that life does have some meaning. Where scientists used to say we live out a purposeless existence, it turns out that we, by our actions and minds, are programming the universe. Or, as Carl Sagan put it: “We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/29/five-insights-challenging-sciences-unshakable-truths

  • Those who believe in the 2 C target are 24 years behind the times. There’s been no carbon budget for a long time. Take notice, David Spratt and Michael Mann.

  • thestormcrow — I did see a Monarch yesterday (black-wing type, is that one?) and infanttyrone, the moles have taken over, so I’d gladly set up a truck stop café for any passing snakes who want to dine on them.

    Guy (or any) — I have to drop this in quick, but I’ve been mulling over the “40-year lag” that you’ve added to your presentations. I’m not sure of the mechanics, but let me see if I’m close.

    The carbon dioxide was emitted (tailpipes, etc.) in 1974. The atmospheric readings back then were in the low 300s, right?

    It was largely sequestered by plants and ocean, and as the ocean acidified, and the forests were cleared, they sequestered less and less, so the overage persists in the atmosphere today.

    That must be the fundamental annual equation that leads us to the 400ppm, right?

    So is the greenhouse heating effect not immediate upon that current ppm reading, or is it somehow exponential? In other words, is the delayed buildup in temperature related to something other than the ocean’s growing release after increased CO2 saturation?

    You see, I’ve gotten half my idea out, but that wouldn’t have stated the question adequately anyway, so have at it. Work in progress.

  • artleads

    “Could it be that cognitive dissonance functions here like ’cause’, while coal rolling and forest whacking are ‘effects’? If so, what go to make up these effects? Notions about bravado an conquest? ”

    I think that is part of it. Also, costly displays of devotion are common to all religions and political dogmas (Merican deniers). There is also a fuck you contrarian attitude involved. Apparently, there is an almost addictive quest for novelty in the last stage of collapsing societies. I see it every where. Endless apps and gadgets for the techies, never ending “Home Improvement” projects for anyone who has the credit, celebrity everything, Foodies, travel junkies, etc etc.

  • Henry, the 40-year lag is mostly about oceans, as explained in this essay at Skeptical Science

  • @Henry

    At some point between 1800 and 1930 the CO2 derived from burning of fossil fuels began to overwhelm the natural systems that recycled CO2. It is more or less impossible to determine when that point was reached but we do know that by 1957 the CO2 content of the atmosphere was about 316ppm, about 36ppm above what it had been prior to mass scale industrialism commencing in England.

    Every night the Earth loses heat to space. Greenhouse gases and clouds affect that heat loss. The temperature anomalies we are witnessing now are the result of a cumulative integration over time and a mass of factors which cannot be determined with accuracy but in simple terms we are feeling the effect of CO2 released into the atmosphere decades ago. I believe 40 years is simply a convenient number that has been ‘pulled out of a hat’ to represent the fact that it takes a long time for energy at the surface of oceans to warm the water at the bottom of oceans (as Guy indicated, and it takes a lot of energy to bring about phase change, in particular the melting of ice.

    The big ‘worry’ is that once most of the ice is gone from the Arctic Sea, the energy that was causing phase change will then be more available for heating of water. Although the Arctic Sea will lose a humungous amount of heat energy every winter (leading to claims that ‘ice formation is at a record high’ by climate change denialists), the rapidly warming water in the summer would be expected to have a profound effect on ice sitting on rocks in Greenland, Norway etc. simply because here is likely to be a lot of warm, wet weather.

    It is very likely that the ’40 year delay’ will become a ’10 year delay’ or a ‘5 year delay’ as ice rapidly disappears and the deep oceans become warm.

  • “A paper by James Hansen and others [iii] estimates the time required for 60% of global warming to take place in response to increased emissions to be in the range of 25 to 50 years. The mid-point of this is 37.5 which I have rounded to 40 years.”

    That’s from 2010, so has there been any other research done on the lag since the Hansen paper?

    If they are off on the timing, like they were with the ice melt, I could see big trouble coming sooner rather than later.

  • artleads

    Your link a bit further up of the highly evolved ‘Tree Killing, Tree Atomising Machine’ made me feel almost as sick to my stomach as when I first read an account of the ‘Killing of Hypatia’, which drew blood from my head and produced all the symptoms of mild shock,(just done a first aid refresher course).

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

    Just imagine no multicellular animal life on Earth, and thousands of these machines appeared. They begin to disintegrate the trees wherever they roam, clearing the land surface as they move.
    What kind of reaction, understanding of what was occurring would even a very old tree conclude?

    Perhaps….

    “Aliens had come to kill all of their species…Aliens without emotions, and concern for ‘our’ form of life?”

    They will not stop…

    ‘Terminator will not stop …. Ever’

    Machines are a result of the false assumption that the universe has an ‘objective’ status, which implies life, and consciousness, exists as a counterpoint to that assumed objective status. Humans who are also similarly ‘believe’ this is so, create machines that reflect this position.
    Life and consciousness is all there is, and therefore reality is Subjective and only living.

    So far I have not been able to put this any more succinctly…. but I am trying.
    🙂

  • @OzMan

    Machines are a result of the false assumption that the universe has an ‘objective’ status, which implies life, and consciousness, exists as a counterpoint to that assumed objective status. Humans who are also similarly ‘believe’ this is so, create machines that reflect this position.

    I don’t think we have a specific human extinction date, but it is science that has given us a range of pull-dates including 2030-2050-2100. Science done by people who manage to be conscious and objective, or nearly so.

    Life and consciousness is all there is, and therefore reality is Subjective and only living.

    Not sure you mean what I think this means. Is this a “If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound if there is nobody there to hear it?” kind of thing ? If other trees are alive, then maybe they hear via their leaves. If the universe expands to a point of maximum entropy with no living thing left to be conscious of it, are you saying it will cease to exist ? Or if it contracts again to a small enough volume that no living thing exists, it will cease to exist?
    I think I’ll go with Feynman’s take on what I think (and I could be wrong) you’re trying to say.

  • Well… good news and bad news. The good news is that Yahoo FINALLY has posted an article that doesn’t relate to Climate Change Denial. It’s all about the sleeping Arctic Methane Monster. The following link is the article. The bad news? Well, seems as though the answer is a “carbon tax.” Like that’s going to do us all a great deal of good at this point. Anyhow, here’s the article…..

    http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/07/methane-monster-lurking/2/

    (No longer) Pilot —This will be my new “pen name” as I have given up flying.. as I see no future in continuing to fuel Climate Collapse.

  • The Leonard Lopate Show
    Monday, July 07, 2014

    Living on a Dollar a Day

    “More than one billion people around the world live on a dollar a day. While the reasons for their poverty may be different across geographic regions and political circumstances, the results are much the same. Thomas Nazario looks at the ways extreme poverty severely limits people’s options in life, and that the cycle of poverty is nearly impossible to break without help. His book Living on a Dollar a Day shares the personal stories of some the poorest of the poor.”

  • “Machines are a result of the false assumption that the universe has an ‘objective’ status, which implies life, and consciousness, exists as a counterpoint to that assumed objective status. Humans who are also similarly ‘believe’ this is so, create machines that reflect this position.”

    I wish I understood this better. It seems to address ulvfugl’s question as to what it is we are destroying. But from the sound of it, nobody has a handle on that. I sure don’t anyway.

    Apneaman sees the machine mania (with its extreme disconnect from the planet as a living thing) as a reflection of collapse. But the cause and effect get muddled for me. Some people are choosing machine manias as their style, while others of us are moving away from it, despite collapse. I’m suggesting that machine mania doesn’t come out of nowhere, but has to do with the quantity of quality of the choices put before people. I suppose that much of this has to do with inequality and education.

    So if we say that you get an education, whether at home, on the streets or in school, who is looking at how that does or doesn’t produce machine mania? And is a part of that education aesthetic education? It seems that a lot of dots are begging to be connected. And a lot of professionals, certainly the artists (among others), are missing in action.

  • I just realised what I wrote doesn’t make sense. What I should have said is that portion facing away from the Sun radiates heat and drops in temperature.

    The good news is that the warmer the Earth becomes the greater the tendency to lose heat. On the other hand, a warmer Earth could well have much more water vapour in the atmosphere, and although not a primary driver of warming, that tend to keep the earth warmer.

    The atmospheric CO2 level is slipping below 400ppm at long last, and will be below 400ppm till February.

    Much will be revealed before then, the big one being the extent of the Arctic meltdown for 2014.

    A local transport company has cut its working week to 4 days, due to falling Chinese demand for logs. The ‘interesting times’ get more ‘interesting’ by the week.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/10242174/Slowdown-slashes-loggers-hours

  • “If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound if there is nobody there to hear it?”

    Depends on the definition of “sound”. If it refers to mechanical vibrations transmitted through matter, a good case exists for the phenomenon. If it refers to nerve impulses carried from the ear to the auditory cortex, obviously not.

    There are three levels to reality in the Vedic tradition: absolute reality, empirical reality and apparent reality.

    Absolute reality is unconstrained by time, space and causation: existence or “is-mess” upon which even time, space and causation rest.

    Empirical reality is the everyday reality of the world, which is limited by time and space to beginnings and endings and by causation to dependence and conditionality.

    Apparent reality is that of illusions, delusions, hallucinations, dreams and imagination.

  • http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-jul-7-2014-overshoot-loop/

    Debt Rattle Jul 7 2014:

    Overshoot Loop:
    Evolution Under The Maximum Power Principle

    Jay Hanson: I have been forced to review the key lessons that I have learned concerning human nature and collapse over the last 20 years. Our collective behavior is the problem that must be overcome before anything can be done to mitigate the coming global social collapse. The single most-important lesson for me was that we cannot re-wire (literally, because thought is physical) our basic political agendas through reading or discussion alone. Moreover, since our thoughts are subject to physical law, we do not have the free-will to either think or behave autonomously.

    We swim in “politics” like fish swim in water; it’s everywhere, but we can’t see it!

    We are “political” animals from birth until death. Everything we do or say can be seen as part of lifelong political agendas. Despite decades of scientific warnings, we continue to destroy our life-support system because that behavior is part of our inherited (DNA/RNA) hard wiring. We use scientific warnings, like all inter-animal communications, for cementing group identity and for elevating one’s own status (politics).

    Only physical hardship can force us to rewire our mental agendas. I am certainly not the first to make the observation, but now, after 20 years of study and debate, I am totally certain. The net energy principle guarantees that our global supply lines will collapse. The rush to social collapse cannot be stopped no matter what is written or said. Humans have never been able to intentionally-avoid collapse because fundamental system-wide change is only possible after the collapse begins.

    What about survivors? Within a couple of generations, all lessons learned from the collapse will be lost, and people will revert to genetic baselines. I wish it weren’t so, but all my experience screams “it’s hopeless.” Nevertheless, all we can do is the best we can and carry on…
    [read the rest]

  • and, this just in:

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/07/antarctic-winds-lead-to-faster-ice-melt.html

    Antarctic winds lead to faster ice melt

    Another positive feedback

    Bad news about rising sea levels as quickening Antarctic winds lead to faster ice melt

    Sea levels may rise much faster than predicted because climate models have failed to account for the disruptive effects of stronger westerly winds, Australian-led research has found. [read about it]

  • apologizing for overage, I thought this important enough to post

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/governments-around-world-admit-carry-false-flag-terror.html

    Governments from Around the World Admit They Carry Out False Flag Terror

    [the list is too long to post, but this stood out]

    ◾Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country

    ◾Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers)

    ◾Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”

    [there’s lots more]

  • @ infanttyrone
    Glad you resonated with it. Takes some of the futility out of my efforts.

    ~~~

    So, it’s like we’re out here on this trek, see, and we all know it’s going to end badly. Just awful. Poison swallowed, no antidote… burned bridges behind, smoke wafting ahead to assure a dead end. Forced further up the crag. Every inch of ascent increasing descent. Our indecent descent.

    Getting hard to breathe up here in the thinness of this blue air, this predicament of rarefication, contrived to concentrate and maintain excessive luxury for a few. Spectral wind, stirred up by the yawning vacuum formed by these unruly demands, casually blows its casualties prone. Harder to breathe, to eat, to find a place to sleep. Less and less to hold onto. Losing traction, slipping.

    Meanwhile, ambitious delinquents push on ever higher, pushing their flag above all others. To plant it firmly into… so it shall fly over… the bones of the one and only Earth. To pin her claimed, impaled, and truly forsaken. To pin their flag through the bodies of the wretched in pursuit of securing a firm foundation for their estate. They don’t know that ants fighting over a grain of sand ain’t an ideal to emulate. Their highest aspiration is brutal domination – thereby daubing dubious anesthetic upon their raw insecurities. Of the finer things, they are insensitive, colorlessly opaque.

    Clear enough: On the other side of the top, things go downhill. From these heights vividly sprawls the desolate destination.

    And all that we carried along this journey, upon bent backs, in imaginations and hearts… shall be lost.

  • Super Typhoon Neoguri now rolling over Okinawa!

    Major Water Dumper here, this will play major with all the islands in the japanese Archipelago.

    RE

  • I’ve posted a new essay, courtesy of Jo Ann Heydron. It’s her first contribution to this space, and it’s here.

  • http://www.dailyimpact.net/2014/07/07/fishin-gone-all-over-the-world/#more-2278

    Fishin’ Gone. All Over the World.

    The headline in the Washington Post on June 3: “The End of Fish.” Not even the usual weasel question mark at the end to avoid the declarative statement. In mid-June the Global Ocean Commission stated its conclusion that the world’s oceans are on the brink of collapse, offering a Pollyanna-ish eight-point plan for their complete recovery (Step One: Every country in the United Nations agrees to stop plundering the oceans for profit and start working for their recovery. Just give us a call when you’ve done that, and we’ll move on to Step Two.) In late June, Quartz detailed the $27 billion in subsidies from the world’s richest countries to the largest, nost destructive fleets of deep-ocean trawlers, without which they could not sail. The headline on the July 11 cover story in Newsweek: “The Disaster We’ve Wrought on the World’s Oceans May Be Irrevocable.”

    Earlier, in May, Michael Snyder writing for the American Dream blog tabulated a list of fresh- and salt-water fish kills around the world in a single month this spring that will set your hair on fire.

    It is important to realize that the culprit here is not climate change, although it is making a contribution to the problem. If there were no such thing as climate change, the world’s fish would still be on Death Row, put there by the same endearing qualities and activities that have brought us climate change: boundless greed; massive pollution of air, water and soil; heedless exploitation of natural resources; and political paralysis brought on by injections of currency.

    Specifically, three things are wiping out the fish, and there is no reasonable expectation that any of them will abate anytime soon.

    1. Ocean Acidification. [descriptive paragraph]

    2. Algae Blooms. [descriptive paragraph]

    3. Overfishing. [descriptive paragraph]

    The bad news is that the fish are dying so fast that any serious effort to help them would have to have started years ago. The good news: in just a few more years, there will no longer be a problem. Because as the narrator on Evening Shade intoned years ago: “Where there is no solution, there is no problem.”