NTHE Question #11

Why is this happening? Or, better yet, When did it start? I am aware of many different opinions on this topic. Is there a consensus at NBL?

Comments 64

  • Question #11: When did it start?

    With Earth’s first Clay They did the Last Man knead,
    And there of the Last Harvest sow’d the Seed:
    And the first Morning of Creation wrote
    What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

    The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam

  • The most peace is in the embracing of what IS, in NO MORE QUESTIONS, in just going with the flow and embracing where it takes us. — Truth only sets us free from the lies. If we are doomed, prisoners or slaves, that will not change. However, if there is any hope for justice and meaning it can only be in the truth. We must embrace reality, and relax our bodies and spirits into its flow, whether peaceful, raging or tumultuous. IT (the current) is already in charge anyway. All we have is our dignity. Only our own actions can take dignity from us. (A book I found very helpful in my journey and learning to embrace myself and reality is “Learning To Love Yourself” by Gay Hendricks, 1982.)

  • Oh look, more good news: http://www.livescience.com/47523-hundreds-east-coast-methane-seeps.html.

    Methane plumes off of the East coast.

  • Why?: No-one knows. Perhaps no-one can know.

    When did it start?: At the big bang. Everything changes continuously, and everything ends. This little climate change fiasco of ours is just one of an infinite flow of constant change events that have occurred for the last 15 billion years.

    On the other hand, physicists are speculating that the linear space/time experience we inhabit is in fact not real. I am not able to process that rationally in my little brain, but I am open to the possibility that Einstein’s relativity theory is just a crack in the door of understanding the actual nature of reality.

    Suffice to say that what you think you are and what you think you are experiencing day to day may or may not be true.

    As it looks now our species will not be around to figure it out. But you never know what reality has in store.

    Everything inside this space/time, matter/energy thing called our universe ends, everywhere, always, without exception…..so far!

  • BtD’s version from the past:


    The Finger writes, and, having writ,
    Allows you to read your obit;
    Doom gives you the finger,
    And says you won’t linger
    Much longer in all of this shit.


    That Bowl which we call the Sky
    Is a covering lid they apply,
    Whereunder we crawl
    To the petri dish wall,
    Then run out of food and die.


    The Big Bang determined the text
    Which we read, yet still get perplexed:
    The way it exploded,
    Right then encoded
    Whatever you’re going to do next.

  • “It” has been going on since the genus Homo emerged. You can read about the positive feedback loop Craig Dilworth calls the Vicious circle Principle in his book “Too Smart for Our Own Good”. The process is traceable back to Homo habilis’ use of stone tools 2.3 million years ago. That implies that it’s inherent to the genus – an adaptive evolutionary propensity.

    That propensity is simply an extension of the survival imperative common to all life. According to Eric Schneider and James Kay among many others, life emerged as an inevitable consequence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics operating in an environment with an appropriate mix of raw materials and conditions, in the presence of energy flows strong enough to trigger autocatalysis.

    In a sense, H. sap is just the next cycle of cyanobacteria that changed the Earth’s atmosphere in the Great Oxygenation Event 2.5 billion years ago. We are now precipitating a Great Carbonization Event.

    From this point of view, we have been doomed at least since the emergence of life on Earth.

  • Just for the sake of it I would contend it is not something that has to do with the genus homo per se. But rather with choices made along the way. One such choice, an important one, would be the murder of Socrates. The Greek civilization might have been what gave birth to homo occidentalis… Just imagine that the Greek world could have evolved otherwise had they had the courage to listen to a man like Socrates, rather than murder him. Western civilization might have been less disconnected from the Eastearn world, from a genuine spirituality, from the natural world. Maybe we could have evolved differently by taking different routes way back in the past. Reading the trial of Socrates these days, I find that the the kind people who accused and condemned him are still very much around.

  • A variation on the question, namely “Why is this happening to us?”

    This June marked the 50th anniversary of the release of Zulu, the film dramatization of the defense of the mission station at Rorke’s Drift (22-23 January 1879) by British soldiers against an overwhelming Zulu force.

    In one scene just before the battle begins in earnest, anticipating annihilation Private Thomas Cole asks Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne “Why is it us? Why us?” To which Bourne replies, “Because we’re here, lad. Nobody else. Just us.”

    Most did survive, including Bourne but not Cole, who died the first day.

    Whatever happens to us, I suspect many will survive, though under what conditions who can say. Still, if you need some bucking up, try this item from the 24th August edition of the Guardian. Entitled “Don’t fear growth,” it was written by Chris Huhne, former Liberal MP and from 2010-2012 Minister of Energy and Climate Change in Her Majesty’s Government.


  • Of course, it depends on how big a picture you want to look at. In the largest picture, it began when the first organism evolved into, or found itself in, an environment in which it could thrive, and it’s population exploded and it consumed that environment.

    If the picture only contains humans, there are several possibilities; when humans evolved the ability to throw rocks and kill things at a distance (or at least scare them off a carcass), or when they developed the ability to cut down forests, or to manage fire.

  • #11 Not only do i not know, i’m not sure it can be known. As stated above, and i agree, it’s built into the tao of the universe, fundamentally the way we’re “wired” and the result of actions taken in the distant past – ie. that’s the way humanity decided to “do” life at each critical point where it “could have” changed (but i’d add that it’s many actions taken in many places during our history and evolution).

  • I know there have been human populations that had great respect for their environment, and saw themselves as only one integral part of it.

    I’m wondering, now, if any human population, large or small, ever actually sacrificed it’s own well-being for the sake of their environmental well-being. Did any hungry tribe ever agree not to hunt a specific prey animal, so that species would benefit? Did any cold and wet community ever agree not to build shelter so the local trees or plants would benefit?

  • @Steve

    There have indeed been human populations that showed great respect for their environment, and exercised restraint in their use of natural resources and their own reproduction. Such populations generally lived so close to the carrying capacity of their immediate environment that they were intimately aware of the consequences of overshoot (though they didn’t put it in those terms, of course).

    The more removed a population is from an awareness of the underlying carrying capacity, the less respect they show for any negative consequences of growth. In their (our) opinion, there simply aren’t any negative consequences – or at least, none that can’t be “solved” though the application of ingenuity and shifting the burden to a different part of the environment.

    In answer to your last two questions, I’m not aware of any cross-species altruistic self-sacrifice events like you describe. Such behavior would render a population vulnerable to environmental fluctuations or depredations by their neighbours (see Andrew Schmookler’s “Parable of the Tribes” and H. T. Odum’s “Maximum Power Principle”).

  • I generally agree with P. Chefurka that extinction is a manifestation of the 2LoT. A more temporal view of the Sixth is that it started and will soon end because of the rare development of higher intelligence in one species. Higher intelligence, like a huge meteor hitting the planet (the Fifth), is lethal to life.

  • @ Robin, how very nice of you to remember! ☺

    I often have an old limerick applicable to a recurring discussion, and I’m stuck with either reposting old stuff, trying to say something better, or just grinding out schlock. By trying to stick to choice #2, supratentorial degeneration means less and less to post.

    Also, I try to avoid cross-posting, but since they’re not coming so fast anymore, here are some I wrote yesterday at Gail Zawacki’s Panic Room at Facebook (the third one hints at a wider issue I’ve been trying to figure out how best to address here):

    Martha and the Vandellas
    (Ah, weren’t they something? Wasn’t that a time?)

    There was Dancing In The Streets nationwide
    While we fought, or explored deep inside;
    But the Heat Wave, we’re learning,
    Means everywhere’s burning:
    There’s Nowhere To Run or to hide.


    Last night, just another earthquake;
    Since extinction is baked in the cake,
    Who knows, with doom’s curse,
    Which is better or worse:
    Being asleep or awake?

    Alexis Pankerson says: https://www.facebook.com/jesseventura/photos/a.714656788561947.1073741826.138233432870955/913700008657623/?type=1&theater

    Can a camera be used as a weapon? Or be more powerful in certain situations than a gun? Discuss.
    —Jesse Ventura


    Can a camera fasten the brakes
    On a gun with the pictures it takes?
    I don’t mean to be lewd,
    But we’re totally screwed,
    So I’m not sure what difference it makes.

  • I push the starting time back to about 4 million years ago, when precursors of the various homo species began using stones as weapons and tools.

    As for the system that is currently ravaging the planet at a rate never witnessed before, I trace that to the invention of a steam pump by Thomas Savery in 1698, which happens to correspond fairly closely with the establishment of fractional reserve banking at the Bank of England. However, Savery could not have constructed a steam=driven pump if there had not already been an armaments industry centred around making cannons.

    The questions thus become meaningless, and are exercises in making connections we have already gone over a dozen times. That said, if a system has a ‘natural’ life of 450 years and you happen to be living in the 420th year you must expect the system to continue for no more than another 30 years.

    My question is still the same as it has been for many, many months: What is the instantaneous absorption-reradiation factor for methane compared to carbon dioxide?

    I might now add a couple of others: Is anyone in a position to find the answer doing anything to find the answer? Does anyone (other than a handful of folk) care?

  • JamesA

    I’ve been all over the place with this (re your link). Two early comments to the article show two contrary attitudes:

    “Growth creates jobs, so it cannot be bad. It also spoils our environment if we do not direct to deduce climate change. But what we need is jobs which enables us to pay our rent and buy food´d for our families.”


    “tell this to the rhinos and elephants facing extinction from rampant human population growth as well as the growing wealth of China amongst others”

    Maybe one approach doesn’t have to rule out the other. This writer was all into energy. But there’s no reason not to consider the oceans, soil, species, cultures, etc.

    I will try looking it up, but I’m looking for answers to Geoff Lawton’s statement that the planet can accommodate 10 billion (presumably doing gardening instead of agriculture). He says we need all the people we can get. But what if 10 billion people don’t want to do gardening, and just want to watch TV? We’ll have all the horrors we talk about here. Has Lawton explained this anywhere?

  • response to a pipeline story on commie dreams:

    Self-Aggrandizing Agonizing Stand Up vs. Apocalyptic Optimistic Profiteering?

    never blame the needle when injecting heroin.
    the mega earth corps tells us to be happy with “democracy”
    the EROI for the conflict, rare earth, heavy metals approaches – Z
    the green energy system uses lays waste to too much water that’s now in the air
    our mutated food is killing thing everything without reversing or stopping
    the wet bulb tropics will dry up and burn
    if the super rich don’t survive
    the GMO trees will inherit the earth in the north for a while
    the banks say it’s green energy all the way
    the 6 to half-dozen or so.
    when u believe this
    u’re too stupid to live
    read lotsa wordz – thinx
    there is no green energy no clean coal
    no methane leaking gas reductions no nothing
    i hope clean thorium can help clean uranium waste
    but i’m sometimes too >>>>>> to live

  • [Response to artleads comment]

    To be honest, I can’t remember now how I came upon the Huhne piece: I typically visit several news aggregator-sites as soon as I get up in the morning, a time when Morpheus is still upon me.

    In any case, as I read the article, I imagined I could hear the refrain “Don’t worry, be happy” in the background. He seemed to be oblivious to any number of statistics and studies that make his thesis sound so much nonsense. Some of the comments reinforced my impression.

    I chose not to examine any of the statements he made or to look into anything he adduced as evidence. Not very inquisitive, I know, but there you are,

  • kevin: I honestly don’t know the answer but wonder if it isn’t dependent on the rate at which methane is being forced into the atmosphere somehow (ie a differential equation), thereby making it more difficult to ascertain than a simple lab experiment where the rate at which methane converts to CO2 may be measured in incremental steps as a function of the ratio of CO2 to O2. Add to that the fact that the atmosphere is actually a huge stew of noxious crap that interacts and influences this process: volcanic ash, radiation, brake dust, particulates, industrial smog, forest fire residue (soot and black carbon), methane, hydrogen sulfide, refrigeration propellants, and some other man-made stuff that’s ridiculously worse than even methane, and all of this and more is being heated irregularly by the sun because of cloud cover and being mixed irregularly due to the meandering jet stream. How are you supposed to arrive at an definitive answer that won’t change the very next time you do the calculation, adjusting for each of the above factors as they ebb and plume?

    Short answer: it’s complicated, it ain’t good and it’s probably worse than whatever number you arrive at.

  • In a previous thread, Grant Schreiber says: “Face the extinction headed your way. Looking backwards to Eden is a waste of time.”

    Extinction Distractions

    The key to improving your mind
    Is avoiding distractions you find,
    So focus on this:
    Figure out how to kiss
    Goodbye to your cherished behind.

  • ditto this from datta, quoting btd, the bard of doom!

    NTHE Question #11

    free will, free shmill. all is determined by past events. can’t go back further than the surreal ‘big bang’, so there’s your beginning! to elaborate a bit, no one chooses their genes or birth environment/circumstances. everything follows from there. we’re just meat robots acting upon desire and instinct.

    ‘My question is still the same as it has been for many, many months: What is the instantaneous absorption-reradiation factor for methane compared to carbon dioxide?

    I might now add a couple of others: Is anyone in a position to find the answer doing anything to find the answer? Does anyone (other than a handful of folk) care?’ -kevin m.

    i hope it isn’t too bad for selfish reasons, but other than that the answer doesn’t concern me, since i have no power to change it, nor ability to put such knowledge to any practical use. no matter how dire the answer may be, i can’t see it changing the behavior of homo inanis, or the policies of tptb. of what use are facts in the face of stupid/crazy?! as u so well know, kevin. btw, i’m re-reading THE EASY WAY for maybe the 4th or 5th time. great little book u wrote, chock full of fascinating facts, astute analysis, and appropriately dire conclusions. about the only quibble i have with it is the title, for it implies that having acquired foreknowledge of ‘doom’ is an easier path than being rudely awakened by it’s arrival. considering there is no way to adequately prepare for it, there is no ‘easy way’ in this case.

  • @ Steve

    I’m wondering, now, if any human population, large or small, ever actually sacrificed it’s own well-being for the sake of their environmental well-being. Did any hungry tribe ever agree not to hunt a specific prey animal, so that species would benefit? Did any cold and wet community ever agree not to build shelter so the local trees or plants would benefit?

    My thesis is, that it is/was the role of the shaman to keep the behaviour of the tribe in ecological balance with the environment that they inhabited. I think this was rather a messy business, as all human social affairs tend to be. There is fairly good scientific anthropological evidence to support this thesis. Yes, I think that in S. America, there’s examples where they did forego hunting some species, on the instructions of the shaman, because those species were suffering. However, the justification would be framed within some mystical, mythic story, obviously not scientific ecological terms, and would be constantly reviewed.

    But then, at some later stage, as tribes grow, or civilisation develops, or shamanic religion becomes priestly religion, so to speak, the intuitive visionary insight of a shaman gets fixed as some sort of dogma, so there’s the taboo against eating pork, or killing cows, which presumably made some sort of sense at one time, but nobody knows any longer why these religious rules are followed, they are just ‘scripture’.

    There’s interesting examples from Ireland, of the pre-Christian religion which went underground, so to speak, where even in the last century, workmen in rural areas refused to cut down thorn trees, or move boulders, that ‘belonged to the fairies’ to make way for the construction of roads, and the roads had to be re-routed.

    That was because, the land was seen as sacred, and there were stories attached to the features of the landscape, which were of a magical, mystical quality, that connected the inhabitants to the deep past of their ancestors.

    One of the obstacles that the modern capitalist neoliberal economic model, and its fascist neconservative political instruments, have to overcome is this worldwide attachment that all people have had to their past and to nature and to traditional values. These things have to be broken and swept away before the bankers and industrialists can rape and pillage the land.

    So science, ‘progress’, modern technology are all brought in, along with finance and politics, as a package, that replaces the old that actually cared for the Earth, people and place, however imperfectly and replaces it with the new, which cares for nothing, except of course, financial profit for the apex of the pyramid.

    When people resist, they are killed, as happens now in Ukraine, where American corporations, Cargill, Monsanto, Dupont, Dowty, etc, use the Kiev jewish fascist Gvt and the IMF to wreck the country’s economy, so they can buy the wonderful agricultural land in the west, push out all the local people and grow GMO cash crops. Shell and Hunter Baby Biden and Kolomoisky and their neo-nazi killers can terrorise the people in east Ukraine so that the local population are forced to flee to Russia, and the geology can be fracked for gas, poisoning the whole area.

    Same story as the slave trade to Virginia, to grow cotton, or forcing the Chinese to buy opium grown in India. Barclay’s Bank, HSBC Bank, Rothschild’s, J P Morgan, Wall St, the City of London, etcetera, this is how they operate, raping and pillaging the planet, from a distance, so the blood doesn’t splash on their expensive suits.

    Most people are involved in this filthy business, to some degree, that’s why it is so difficult to stop it.

    There’s the example of the Bishnoi who let themselves be killed, rather than their trees be cut down.

    Jambho Ji, an unmatched visionary of his times, had not only completely understood the complex bond between man and nature, but also used a powerful medium, religion, to help masses imbibe the fine principals of co-existence with nature.


    You can contrast that with the teachings of the Talmud, which inform the moneylenders, the bankers, most of whom are Jews, which states, quite unequivocally, that non-Jews are inferior beings of no value, other than to be exploited. So the whole banking system, upon which capitalism is founded, is thoroughly pernicious, immoral, destructive and has lead to this catastrophe.

    I accept that it is not the ONLY cause. But human culture is the root of all this, and human culture is one thing that we do have some control over and could have changed.

  • Heat wave offers glimpse into climate change

    An unprecedented marine heat wave that swept the Southeast Indian Ocean in 2011 has given FIU scientists a glimpse into the future of climate change. The heat wave caused the loss of more than 90 percent of the dominant seagrass in some regions of Shark Bay, Australia.

    “When we think of climate change impacts on ecosystems, we often think they happen slowly over time, but we’re increasingly seeing that extreme events can trigger abrupt shifts in ecosystem structure and function,” said FIU marine sciences researcher Jordan Thomson, who led the study. “Increased temperature disturbances should be expected in this region in the future.”

  • ICI vs. CCI (GWP) of GHGs:

    The Instantaneous Climate Impact in terms of Global Warming Potential of a GreenHouse Gas is related to the greenhouse effect of a given atmospheric concentration of the gas at an instant in time. When the gas concentration declines over a period of time, the Cumulative Climate Impact is the sum of the ICIs over that period of time. This would be the AREA under the curve of the atmospheric concentration of the greenhouse gas plotted against time.

    When considering a period of time for which the GHG atmospheric concentration was stably maintained by continued replenishment of the decline, the CCI should be equal to the area under a horizontal line representing the GHG concentration.

    Addressing the GWP in terms of the AREA under the curve should give more realistic results.

  • http://news.vice.com/article/separate-ebola-strain-now-discovered-in-central-africa-has-already-killed-13

    Separate Ebola Strain Now Discovered in Central Africa Has Already Killed 13

    The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed the lives of at least 1,427 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

    Now, what appears to be a different strain of the hemorrhagic fever has been discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) — in Central Africa — and 13 victims have already died. Two people have tested positive for the virus in the northwestern Equateur province, which borders the Republic of the Congo, and a quarantine area has since been set up, health minister Felix Kabange Numbi told the BBC.

    While the DRC is the first country outside West Africa to confirm Ebola in this particular outbreak, it is where the virus was first discovered in 1976 when it was known as Zaire (alongside a simultaneous infection in Sudan). The region has since experienced multiple outbreaks.

    “It’s not unheard of to have two separate outbreaks, usually independent,” Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told VICE News. Morse also noted that the DRC outbreak, which is taking place in a rural area, is much more typical. “West Africa’s really an odd situation,” he added.

    ‘We don’t have enough people on the ground to handle the outbreak in West Africa, and now we have one in the DRC.’


    Meanwhile, aid workers in Ebola-affected areas of West Africa are working under ever-increasing strain. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 120 health workers in West Africa have died from Ebola and more than 240 are infected with the disease. Many more workers have left the infected regions, and fewer than 250 doctors remain in Liberia.

    “What I’m really worried about is that we don’t have enough people on the ground to handle the outbreak in West Africa, and now we have one in the DRC,” said Morse. “In general, the response [in West Africa] was not the kind of immediate, quick response we’ve seen in the past.”

    Yesterday, the WHO also announced that one of their health workers had fallen ill with Ebola in Sierra Leone, the first of the organization’s employees to test positive for the virus.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms0EH0adzbc#t=603

    Chris Hedges “The World sucks and Why”

    [28.5 min. of telling it like it is]

  • Tom.

    The instantaneous absorption-reradiation factor is independent of all other factors and has nothing to do with decay rates, That is why I am so interested in it. Other factors are derived by various allowances which may or may not be accurate ore even representative of what happens in the real world; hence there have been several revisions of ‘over time’ factors.


    Thanks for the compliment. When I wrote the book (2011) I was thinking in terms of helping people avoid the shock of seeing everything they have taken for granted disappear without knowing why, and helping people prepare physically and mentally for times of hardship.

    Everything has got considerably worse since 2001. Sadly, most people still have not noticed, and continue to believe present living arrangements have a future.

    I have asked that the following be asked at a coming ;’eet the candidates’ event:

    ‘Knowing that global extraction of conventional oil peaked prior to 2008 and that the economic system is being propped up in the short term by extremely costly practices, both financially and environmentally, such as fracking and digging up tar sands, but that such strategies are very short-lived and doomed to failure; and knowing the Earth is suffering dire effects of carbon dioxide emissions -ocean acidification, disruption to the Jet Streams and rapid melting of ice sheets etc.; and knowing that the global financial system is a gigantic Ponzi scheme which has been held together since the peaking of oil extraction via massive money printing by central banks at historically low interest rates, please explain why the general public are not being told the truth about anything, and why the vast majority of politicians are obsessed with building more roads at the very time when road building is clearly one of the worst wastes of resources imaginable.’

  • Tom,

    Wonder what the date is for this last history lesson for humankind? Every word is true, I think. Chris Hedges is, of course, one of the last individuals to sound alarms as the crowd gets smaller and smaller. “We have been taught to tolerant the intolerant.”

  • tolerate not tolerant

  • Kevin: Not only is the current amount important but the amount in the air doesn’t decrease over time; it increases. More is being released than is breaking down. The fact that there is so much “dancing around the edges” going on suggests that the current rate is higher than most want to admit.

  • @kevin moore

    The question of the GWP of methane has been bothering me for a while now, and your question has brought it into sharper focus. If I understand it correctly, the reason for giving the methane 100-year GWP as 34 (or whatever the current estimate is) is due to the decay of the initial methane bolus into CO2 and H2O, leaving a steadily decreasing fraction of that bolus in the air.

    This seems to imply that if the atmospheric methane concentration is stable, and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future, then its long-term GWP is identical to its Instantaneous Climate Impact (ICI). In the case of methane the ICI is apparently between 100 (per Trancik and Edwards) and 130 (Carana). That implies that the GWP of 1800 ppb of methane is between 216 and 235 ppmv CO2e.

    If this is correct, we should be calculating the combined impact for present levels of CO2 and CH4 at about 620 ppmv CO2e. That’s a far cry from the currently-used value of around 450.

    Am I following your thinking here?

  • Da McPherson RAP

    Thinking of doing travelling in the summer
    Thinking of getting myself a Hummer
    Not worried bout high mileage on the clocks
    Coz Guy Mc P. says it’s Jevons Paradox

    Ghandi said “be the change you want to see”
    But that don’t mean diddly to Guy Mc P.
    Pherson’s got himself a brand new mate
    It’s only da Khazoom Brookes Postulate

    Guy if your reading this from da airport lounge
    Put the freqent flyer mag down to the ground
    Your airmiles total would embarrass Michael J Fox
    But worrry bro, coz it’s Jevons Paradox

  • Guy your second radio show audio was breaking up mate, you’ll need to host your radio show from somewhere else, not the executive lounge of the frequent flyer’s club

  • Earth was well within carrying capacity only a few generations past. “It” started with the English enclosure movement. With the invention of property, which Proudhoun, Rouseau and many others rightly equate with immorality and theft.

    Rouseau: THE first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

    Following to John Locke’s expansionist imperial apologetics of “Life, Liberty and PROPERTY”. For example, the man wrote South Carolina’s first constitution. South Carolina was a corporation, with investors seeking profit. The constitution enshrined racism, exploitation, inequality, human beings and the natural world as PROPERTY.

    Couple that with Adam Smith’s economic deal with the devil: plunder, extraction, rape, slavery, colonialism and genocide as the road to a superficial and vapid form of wealth: “By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.”

    Which biologist E.O. Wilson smashes to bits: “”Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary.” And since the organism Earth is now unified like never before, it will be impossible for it to survive while we’re all still roped to a colonialist mindset of economics.
    (Wilson’s “Social Conquest of Earth” single handedly smashed Social Darwinism)

    And on to the industrial revolution -de-humanization- systematically grinding people to dust for profit, the discovery of the oil drug in Pennsylvania and in the blink of an eye *Boom* it’s over. To me there is an absolutely clear intellectual, cultural, and physical location for the origin of the suicidal, omnicidal psychosis.

    I do not buy into the “scientific” thesis that ALL humans are whacked nutters hell bent on self-anihilation and more. See Mr. Wilson above. I have seen too many other cultures and read way too many books to believe any of that. These destructive phenomenon for me have a clear and traceable culture origin and concomitant burden of responsibility. Spare me the Harvard published so-called scientific anthropology tomes filled with racism, cultural dominionism and motivated reasoning.

    Notice that it is almost exclusively persons of a certain ethnicity and cultural genesis, living in particular areas and communities of the world who propound these ideas that ALL humans and their entire cultural history and project are fokked beyond all redemption. I believe this to be a profound expression of psychological projection. And I have heard all the arguments, gone over them again and again and find them severely wanting.

    As Ward Churchill propounded in his book Acts of Rebellion:

    “You know longer even see yourself as having been colonized…You’ve become self-colonizing. Conditioned to be so self identified with your own oppression that you’ve lost the ability to see it for what it is, much less to resist it in any coherent way.”


    Good Luck and be careful out there.

  • Great post, Wester. Your link says it all.

    The black commentor (notwithstanding the two great interviewees) on NBL radio’s recent audio was a welcome voice.

  • So Wester, there’s nothing prior to the Tudors, nothing at all, that might better explain where things went wrong for homo-colossus?

    You’re sure that’s ‘it’?

    If only I could be nineteen again, how much simpler the world would still be.

  • Tom, Robin, Paul and everyone else.

    If you study the ‘official’ global warming factor of methane you will see that it is assigned a value over time. The most recent I have seen are 34 times CO2 over 100 years and 72 times CO2 over 20 years, in both cases the overall potential is calculated on the basis that molecules of CVH$ are oxidised to CO2 and that the effect of the methane over the stated time period will be an integral of he area under the decay curve graph.

    The point I have frequently made is that in the real world we are not dealing with an isolated sample of methane which get oxidised to carbon dioxide but are dealing with a system in which any methane molecules in the atmosphere which are oxidised are instantaneously replaced (or to be more accurate, more than replaced because the methane concentration has been slowly rising during the industrial era).

    All the decay curves I have seen presented start from a high point and show a roughly exponential decay similar in shape to the decay of radioactive substance, i.e. very steep at first and then levelling out to zero gradient. None of the graphs I have seen presented have the line commencing from time zero. It is the activity of methane at ‘time zero’ I believe we should thinking about if the methane concentration in the atmosphere is stable or rising.

    Looking at the graphs suggests the intercept point with the x axis would be in the range 250 to 300 times the effect of carbon dioxide, which is why I postulated a value of 300 times CO2 to be ‘on the safe side’.

    I postulate that the roughly 2000ppb concentration of methane in the atmosphere (2ppm) could be having an effect of the order of 2×300 = 600ppm CO2 equivalence, which, when added to the 400ppm CO2 and contributions from other greenhouse gases takes us to around 1100ppm CO2e.

    I am not saying I am absolutely right in this but am saying I am getting nobody prove me wrong. When I discussed the matter with Paul Beckwith he indicated he had seen a multiplier of the order of 250 times CO2 for CH4. I have had no confirmation either way on this.

    A couple of months ago I postulated the powers that be do not want this matter discussed.

    For the man or woman in the street to challenge any official position is to be a ‘conspiracy theorist’. However, I have seen enough of the workings of government to know that practically everything is based on lies, fabrications, faux analysis or no analysis. And there are numerous matters we are not suppose to ask questions about, such as fractional reserve banking and where the interest comes from, the phony measure of economic activity called GDP, various war crimes committed by prominent western leaders etc.

    As with everything I raise, I say: “Please prove me wrong.” Nobody ever does. The vast majority just ignore the matters I raise and move on to something a lot easier (and far less significant).

    I have the same scenario with the local council and the regional council. (I completely gave up on central government many years ago after receiving a plethora of inane responses to written questions and crucial information.)I constantly prove NPDC and TRC wrong, and nothing changes. They just carry on with their faux analysis and reprehensible policies, geared to making everything worse, which is why I have NO FAITH in any of them, not even the Green Party, which consists of well meaning fools who are scientifically and financially illiterate, and liars.

  • ‘“The real challenge is to combat an economic model that thrives on wasteful products and packaging and leaves the associated problem of clean-up costs. Changing the way we produce and consume plastics is a challenge greater than reining in our production of carbon dioxide,” Captain Moore added.’

    Charles Moore obviously does not understand climate science but at least the is highlighting the plastic catastrophe which, like everything else, gets worse by the day.


  • I must say I am impressed in ulvfugi’s shamanic insight. It is a big insightful discussion as to the knowledge or more correctly the wisdom that the shaman gained in the inward exploration.
    Without trying to get into this dimension , it can be said it had to do with the cosmic order of existence. The shaman had direct access and didn’t need an intermediary. To answer the question of when ; when the wisdom was lost and what I call the anti-shaman ,used fear to control. The shaman became the saviour and the fuehrer. The Garden of Eden myth is filled with insight into this change ,but it does give the way back to the Garden ,which is to eat from the tree of life. The Buddha sits on the other side beckoning us to come in, “dont’t be afraid of those guys , which are just symbols of your own fear.” Something from Joseph Campbell. Christ said the kingdom is at hand. The two trees are the two snakes of the caduceus .the symbol of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. When we connects the dots from depth psychology with the wisdom of the shaman ,we gain greater insight into the path we should be taking . Anyway you are provided with institutions of politics economics religion all based in the antagonism of the opposites. Bring on the battle.

  • ‘Just-In-Time’ Food Supply Disaster Is Looming
    August 25, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin

    But imagine that something happened to change those preferences for reserves. Suppose the typical American wanted a two-month or six month reserve? This could happen when they see food prices escalating beyond reach and they wish to buy reserve food while it is still within their price range. Imagine what would happen:

    The demand for food would quintuple or more within a short time and so shoppers would see empty shelves in the market, further stimulating panic buying, just as in a hurricane or blizzard. This would mark the end of our reliable food supply system. The stores would be picked clean almost instantly and people’s preferences would change even more toward having a year of reserve food or more to protect themselves from outages. Given that we have no warehousing and a near-fixed resupply capability, we would be looking at a PERMANENT condition of no food on the shelves. Armed men would meet the resupply trucks when they arrive at the market.

  • Metal to the pedal , keep the economy functioning ,the holy grail of increasing GDP. It takes something like 10 calories of so fossil energy to produce 1 calorie of food. Frack the earth burn the oil sands,profits are being made. Where I live now ,we have been experiencing cool nights and the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye,but the cobs are pathetic, invest in corn futures. Dr.McPherson was in Winnipeg some months ago ,when they were experiencing the coldest winter ,in living memory. Guess what a couple of weeks ago Winnipeg had a flash flood ,from torrential rain ,described as a one in a hundred year event this followed severe flooding of some of the best agriculture land in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He should go back to Winnipeg to give a talk.

  • Shep: not sure what your question is referring to regarding the “final history lesson.” If you mean when will the collapse happen, uh . . it’s happening. If you were referring to the violence and martial law that Hedges speaks about, it may be right around the time of the food shortages, either just before (if “they” know it’s coming, in say 2020, we’d probably see martial law in motion by 2017 from maybe a presidential signing statement and FEMA camps up and running by 2019 or so) or just after (this would be during chaotic and violent times and even the police wouldn’t be safe trying to gain control of rioting millions).

    [heh, I know – “where’s ‘at damn “edit” button . .? ]

    kevin: I see what you’re getting at, but no matter what figure we arrive at, it won’t be “accurate” since we’re using a mathematical model and trying to use that to make predictions about the real state of things (to come). The atmosphere is messy and methane forcing is still rising (and at what rate – steady or exponential? Is it still possible to get a 50 gigaton burb all of a sudden? Of course! Well so much for the calculation then, we’re gone!) As to the rest, we’re seeing that the Emperor has no clothes, but he’s still the Emperor!

  • IPCC draft says *severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts*

    Draft Of Upcoming IPCC Report Presents Stark View Of The Future As Climate Change Rages On

    “Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” the report says. The final report will be issued after governments and scientists go over the draft line by line in an October conference in Copenhagen.

  • Tom.

    I wonder if you are still missing the point. The instantaneous absorption-reradiation value for methane can be measured by putting some in gas tube and passing a rage of wavelengths through it and measuring how much energy reaches the end of the tube. I coud do it if I had the equipment. Now replace the methane tube with one containing carbon dioxide.

    I am well aware that in the atmosphere there are all sorts of factors that affect incoming energy and outgoing energy. Nevertheless, having an appropriate value for the absorption-reradiation of the methane that is in the atmosphere would perhaps put an end to the nonsense churned out by 350.org and would challenge Robert Scribbler’s persistent declaration that we are 488ppm CO2 equivalent.

    I know I’m pissing into the wind, but wouldn’t it be good to know whether we are at 478ppm CO2e or 1100ppm CO2e?

    Also, I get comments about the extraordinarily high sea/ocean temperatures that have been recorded in the vicinity of where large leaks of methane from the seabed have been identified. Wouldn’t it be good to quantity what is happening?

    It’s a bit like Guy talking about an asteroid headed towards Earth: would you want to know or would you want to remain blissfully ignorant until the last moment.

    Melancholia (movie, 2011).

  • artleads,

    Geoff Lawton puts it like this: we could produce as much nutrition, using permaculture, as agriculture does now from the equivalent of 4% of the area currently used by agriculture. He makes a point of saying that isn’t necessarily 4% of the actual area currently used by agriculture (perhaps because the soil there is so depleted). So, I guess, in principle, 10 billion (and more) could be supported that way. But he doesn’t mention the lifestyles. However, there is zero chance of permaculture catching on quickly enough to think that 10 billion will ever be supported that way.


    That research about the Atlantic methane seeps is the first, so we don’t know what has been happening there over time (and that goes for a lot of the methane stories). The methane never reaches the surface, though, as methane. Heck, they didn’t even sample the gas to find out if it was actually methane, though I haven’t read anything which suggests otherwise.

  • kevin: yes I see and think you’re correct in your higher calculation.

    Tony still peddling hopium I see . ..


    It is increasingly likely that our ailing Western industrialized economy will be preceded in collapse by that of China, whose degradation of the natural web of life has been far faster and more profound than ours. Every six months or so I check on China’s disintegration, plowing through metric tons of punditry on its Miracle-Grow GDP, its rising military power, its imperial ambitions — to come upon a patient in ICU, nearly comatose. If America is Dead Man Walking with respect to food, water, air and soil quality, China is The Walking Dead. [Really? I have to explain that? One is about a man about to die, the other about a zombie, already dead.]

    [read the rest]

  • More than half of Chinese rivers have “disappeared” since 1990s

    ABOUT 28,000 rivers have disappeared from China’s state maps, an absence seized upon by environmentalists as evidence of the irreversible natural cost of developmental excesses.

    More than half of the rivers previously thought to exist in China appear to be missing, according to the 800,000 surveyors who compiled the first national water census, leaving Beijing fumbling to explain the cause.

  • Tom,

    Sorry for the curve ball! Not much of a writer/scientist/philosopher! I was wondering what was the date Chris spoke?


    /Users/lsms/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified/2007/Roll 207/DSC03287.JPG

  • Wester

    Your last post is very helpful to me. You hit all the nodes, IMHO, except the one which ‘came before the Tudors’, as Daniel aired in his subsequent comment.

    However, I am not going as far as he did in some challenging tone. I think you are spot on.

    In answering to Daniel’s challenge, I think the Ward Churchill quotes speak to a turning point. A moment, where interiorising the ‘coloniser cosmology’, however it is framed personally, marks the moment we begin to take the oppressive world-killing activity into our Body-Mind, ur Identity and our Self-Conception, and ACT in that way in the world. So even though there are many strands of historical preceding cultural dynamics that ‘led us here’ collectively, that circumstance where we personally ‘Become’ the World-Life-Killer – competing with Life for ‘Illusory Needs’ – is where we Individually generate the problems, and where we can undo the problems most effectively.

    The quotes by Rousseau, and Ward Churchill synchronised exceptionally well with my ‘insights’ for today which happened while making art and walking this morning. That being:

    “The thoroughly colonised, become so unconscious of their colonisation, they are DOING it to themselves – without realising it !”

    I will attempt to get a copy of ‘Acts of Rebellion’ by Ward Churchill, as the readable free sections I read, around the section you quoted, are very relevant to what I am doing in my neck of the woods.

    I can’t thank you, and others here, enough for all the sharing and debate, and World-Education-Facilitation done here !

    All and Guy too

    I, personally, have found my way to a greater path knowing, accepting,and trying to avert, ( um…for a short period anyway, which I call, ‘Chicken with head cut off freak-out adjustment’ period), the prospect of NTHE. I could never actually feel OK about the prospect of so much DEATH, on a grande scale, of Human AND the many worldly life forms. No. It is not a thing to celebrate.

    However, it is to me a ‘wake up call’ to getting on with the project of not needing a Earthly vehicle for Witness Consciousness any more.

    Ask oneself this question:

    ” Well Self, if I really believe in NTHE, at some stage soon, (hence NT), and that NTHE is because, for whatever reason, the habitat will alter so drastically, and so quickly, that the human Body-Mind will not adapt/evolve/adjust to survive, why not consider, and realise that NOW IS THE MOMENT to drop the necessity to have it, (the Body-Mind)?”

    I accept this is a pretty steep learning curve, for many, but for what it’s worth, I feel anyone truly interested in going this option, should do well to begin to gather with those also interested, and work out how to do it….( and also begin to work out practical ways to enable billions of additional people who may very quickly want to also choose that option).

    Understanding what is Real in the Human condition is essential to getting this, IMHO. Just sayin…



    “Science says we are the body.

    Psychology says we are the mind.

    Religion says we are the soul.

    But what are we — in reality?

    We Are Consciousness Itself”


  • …errr…re-reading my last comment I want to emphasise that when I write:

    “….NOW IS THE MOMENT to drop the necessity to have it, (the Body-Mind)?””

    I am referring to taking the ‘Self-Realisation’ option, not the ‘personal suicide’, or ‘mass suicide’ options.

    Just wanted to be clear!


  • @ Ozman

    Seems to me that you are very confused.

    “Science says we are the body.

    Psychology says we are the mind.

    That’s nonsensical. Psychology is a branch of science. It’s included in science.

    Religion says we are the soul.

    Which religion ? There are many thousands, they all have different teachings and ideas as to ‘what we are’.

    But what are we — in reality?

    We Are Consciousness Itself”

    Who says ? Adi Da alias Franklin Jones, Bubba Free John, Da Free John, Da Love-Ananda, Da Kalki, Da Avabhasa, Ruchira Avatar Adi Da Samraj, etc, a completely disreputable fake guru who sold a brand of hinduism to naive hippies, which for some reason you keep on promoting here, presumably because you know no better, and are stuck in your adolescent past.


  • Just passing along this message from an acquaintance:


    15 years ago I was in Seattle for the huge demonstration against the World Trade
    Organization. It was quite an experience.

    I finally got my video posted on Youtube. You can check it out at

    I hope you enjoy it and might consider sharing the link with others.



  • Thanks, Tony. I see what you’re saying. I think there’s a way around that impasse, however. :-)

  • @ artleads

    I think there’s a way around that impasse, however.

    Well, why don’t you go ahead and explain to us all what the details are, artleads, I’m sure Tony Weddle is on the edge of his seat biting his nails wanting to know. Then he can go through them with his fine tooth comb, ticking the boxes and checking your figures, seeing how your plan to save the planet stacks up.

    Seems to me, artleads, your whole life is a fakery and pretence, you really have no idea what the hell you are talking about or even why you are here on this blog. What a waste, when you could actually be a genuine, authentic, honest person, to spend all your time bullshitting and talking rubbish.

    So, what is ‘the impasse’ and ‘the way around it’, eh ?

  • ulvfugl

    Ha Ha Ha

    If you think I am confused…:

    “Seems to me that you are very confused…”

    what does that make you?

    You are just not ready for anyone to have a real life, and get on with their spiritual path, which may END with the non use of a Terrestrial Body-Mind.

    Very, very sad to see.

    I wish you well, however many of you there may be.

  • @ Ozman

    what does that make you?

    I am capable of conducting an intelligent, informed discussion that’s relevant to the subject, which you are not capable of doing.

    You are the guy who was going to walk around Australia. Your judgement is not reliable, to put it politely, either on this earthly domain or in any other domain, Ozman.

    I often criticise Robin Datta for coopting ancient scriptures rather than speaking from some wisdom of his own, but at least he quotes from sources which are generally acknowledged as being of a high quality and which have withstood the test of time over many generations.

    Not only do you have no wisdom of your own to offer, but the second hand stuff that you coopt is atrocious and deserves to be ridiculed for the garbage that it is. The fact that you admire this guy and continue to promote him says a lot about you and your self-assessment of your so called ‘spiritual path’.

    Adi Da gave herpes to a significant number of women, so many that it
    cannot be claimed to be merely an innocent accident or mistake. One
    must admit he was reckless and negligent at a minimum, because he knew
    he had active lesions and was contagious, yet infected women anyway.
    Beyond mere negligence however, he was surely sick and deranged as
    well because he has claimed he gave others the disease for their
    spiritual benefit. He told one teenaged girl in the mid-70’s, J.K,
    (and perhaps others) that he gave her herpes as “prasad (a divine
    gift) from the Guru to help her work out her bad cunt karma.”

  • Tom,

    I’m not sure what hopium you think I’m peddling. Is there anything in my comment that was incorrect? It would help if you could point that out.


    Do you mean the impasse of there not being a rapid enough or large enough move to permaculture to allow it to feed 10 billion sustainably? Or the impasse of the lifestyles (on average) of those 10 billion not being sustainable with or without permaculture? I can’t see any way out of the former but the latter may correct itself in the form of industrial collapse, though I guess there wouldn’t be 10 billion of us, in that case.

  • q. When did this start?

    Why are all these questions so open ended? It started when humans emerged on the evolutionary tree would be my guess. I suppose one could argue that our current state of being and mind as a species is a product of post-WWII and post cold war ideas, but who cares really? We are here now.

    You know what I would like to ask? How do you cope with the imminent loss of absolutely everything you have ever known?

    I have panic attacks sometimes. I find kindness and generosity effortless, lately. In some ways I think that I feel like I imagine those who have decided on suicide feel, except that I have no intention of suicide unless things go completely black and utterly hopeless.

    Also, have any of you seen this making the rounds? http://www.space.com/26969-universe-2d-hologram-holometer-experiment.html

    I know it isn’t new… but serious experiments being conducted along these lines make me wonder what it would mean if the universe is a hologram.

    i’ve been meaning to post those photos of the houses we were talking about in my neighborhood, but all the ones I’ve taken look like crap at 5:30am when we take our walk… sorry friend… I will get it it done though. I just need some better light and when I get home from work I’m whipped.

  • QE To Robert Callaghan
    Is this Thorium a working energy production system already ? I thought 1st they`ll be rolling out fusion energy and only after thorium

  • Barry,

    I posted a 60’s Ranch-style house image soon after your post about the 60’s houses. Was that the style you mean?.

  • “Why is this happening? Or, better yet, When did it start? I am aware of many different opinions on this topic. Is there a consensus at NBL?”


    To attempt to answer that takes one into the realm of speculation…and assumes that all the things that have happened have reasonable explanations…or perhaps that they don’t.

    Why? Because…of some things we did and didn’t do.

    Why? Why not?

    From my personal point of view, it has to do with a failure on the part of our species (and more specifically our modern Western culture) to make certain transitions in a timely way. A failure to adopt a sustainable way of living while there was still time and energy to make that an achievable goal. We (or at least many of us humans) saw the handwriting on the wall, and we either ignored it, or just weren’t able to convince the rest of our brothers and sisters to embrace the necessary changes to make a course correction.

    That we were on this path has been widely known and discussed since the early 1970s. Before then, whatever mankind was doing to take us to here, where we are today, might be excused on a basis of ignorance. Since 1973, when I was a Junior in High School, the knowledge of our eventual likely extinction has been available. It’s only the timeline that we’ve begun to understand better in these past few years that gives human extinction its shock value. We didn’t used to use the words “Near Term”.

    “When did it start”

    All the well thought out answers above are correct.

    It began with the Big Bang.

    It began with early human behavioral development.

    It began with the switch from HG living to Agriculture.

    It began with the Industrial Revolution.

    It began with Spindletop.

    Wherever you look, you can see a trail leading to where we are now. That’s how history works. Everything that has happened leads to the present, in an observable linear fashion.

    That’s why I make a delineation in time , a marker if you will, that begins with us having the knowledge and wisdom to be able to effect a change. To me that goes back only to my early years, and work like that of Buckminster Fuller and also to the Limits to Growth work by Meadows et.al.

    “I am aware of many different opinions on this topic. Is there a consensus at NBL?”

    Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one, and they all stink. Reality trumps opinion. In time, all will be made clear.

    There is a consensus among people who comment here that the specter of NTHE is real and that the threat is fairly immediate. Beyond that, speculation is rampant regarding the exact series of “unfortunate events” that lie on our horizon over the next 10 to 100 years. Listening to Dr. McPherson gives me some clues.