NTHE Questions #2 and #3

1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?

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2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?

Background: I haven’t yet gone into detail with my 47-year-old daughter, though she knows something is distinctly wrong and looming ahead — but she’s just running to keep herself and my 13-year-old granddaughter afloat.

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McPherson’s 30 July 2014 radio interview with Bill Newman for WHMP in Northampton, Massachusetts is described and archived here. His 31 July 2014 interview with Gary Null for WBAI in New York City is archived here (The Ethical Doctor | Interpersonal Update beginning at the 24-minute mark).

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Nature Bats Last joins the airwaves Tuesday, 5 August 2014. McPherson will be joined every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern by co-host Mike Sliwa for this hour-long show on the Progressive Radio Network. Follow the page and join the group on Facebook.

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McPherson’s forthcoming book is 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 by mid-September 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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Due to an overwhelming number of submissions, essays in this space will appear at the top of the page for only two days. Essays will be intermixed with questions for discussion, of which today’s is the first. If you could ask a single question concerning near-term human extinction, knowing that everyone at NBL will ponder and then offer an opinion, what form would that question take? If you’re willing, please send your question to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. It will be posted anonymously for commentary in place of an essay.

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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, Anne Pyterek at Blue Bus Books, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 60

  • 1. Since the 1960’s I never wanted to continue “rising up the ladder of success” but failed to find any other viable means of feeding myself and maybe findin’ someone to share my time with. [I know – that’s a “cop out.”] My life has been a giant waste of time for the most part. Now that i’m here and the end is all I have, i’ll just wait my turn, doin’ what I can until I can’t. i’m not prepping for anything or stockpiling supplies (and don’t have that kind of money anyway). I still don’t want to be wasting my time (as if have any influence on this existence) doing the industrial civilization thing, but realistically I have limited avenues to pursue and will continue my journey within.

    2. Maybe once they “get it” be available and willing to discuss it with them.

  • I really don’t want to spend the remainder of my time working in the planetary hospice where the cancer patient and its human components have gone to die. I don’t want to listen to “Oh, how could God have done this to us” bullshit. I’m more inclined to rub peoples noses in the shit they’ve created than try to avert catastrophe which seems all but certain. As for my as yet to be teens, they’ll find themselves in the last best place to be. For those whose eyes were closed to high school biology, Darwin and Malthus, well, sorry bout your luck, the Gods will take care of you. As regards all the emotional slop, acceptance, grieving, holding hands and Oprah moments – you’re pathetic.

  • I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing at the moment….wandering the earth like Cain.

    I taught high school for a dozen years and you would be surprised how resilient teenagers are and how they have a sneaking suspicion that all is not well in the Land of Oz. I was very honest with them and they engaged in the conversation.

  • 1. “We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?”

    What way? Engaged in meaningful work, and trying to transition to a lower energy, more sustainable way of living? In a word, yes.

    Last time I checked, my family still has to eat and have a roof over their heads. Nothing has changed that makes me want to don white robes and ascend the mountain to await the Final Hours.

    What Guy says, about extending more loving kindness to others, and giving things away,I can get on board with that. No problem.

    “2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?”

    Easy. Shoot straight with them and tell them like it is. If you’ve been honest with them all along,and not tried to shield them from reality, they’ll be okay. If you’ve been dishonest as a parent so far, then it will be harder.

    They very well might not believe you anyway. You aren’t their highest authority, most likely.

  • I agree, James. . .completely. The grief thing is pretty silly and indulgent– the reason many people don’t feel it isn’ that they’re insensitive, it’s that they’ve not experienced any loss yet, so why would they? It a bit like people are imagining that they’ll drop their ice cream cone in the future so it’s time to get sad about it now.

    But conversations about mortality can be entertaining– last night on the way home from a party after dusk I was cruising along on the bike at a pretty good clip and suddenly this huge bear decides he wants to cross the trail right in front of me. It’s obvious neither he nor I saw each other until the $HIT moment, but somehow by entering another dimension somehow we avoided an ass over teakettle moment. I pretty well kept peddling. I think life in the future is going to have a lot of these kinds of encounters. . .

    But the questions:

    1) I’m happy to continue living the way I’ve been doing.

    2) It’s been my observation that most teenagers have a far better grip on what is going on with the adults who have been too distracted with real estate schemes and the like to pay a lot of attention to what’s been going on. . .

  • @ James

    On one hand, you write that catastrophe “seems all but certain”. Given this, I feel curious to know why you wish to avoid experiencing grief related to the situation, why you wish to encourage others to avoid THEIR grieving, and why you wish to attack those who grieve by writing to us “you’re pathetic”. What prompts your verbal violence? I can, of course, construct a number of stories about your possible motives, but I prefer simply to ask. Perhaps you simply do not experience the emotional responses to various situations that most people experience, so you cannot understand, empathize, or sympathize with other’s emotional responses?

    @ jaywfitz:

    Please help me to understand your reasoning because I find it extremely confusing. You wrote: “The grief thing is pretty silly and indulgent– the reason many people don’t feel it isn’ that they’re insensitive, it’s that they’ve not experienced any loss yet, so why would they?” Based on this reasoning, a man waiting for execution behaves in a “silly and indulgent” way to grieve before the needle enters his arm, the bullet passes through his heart, or the blade falls on his neck. Based on this reasoning, a person who has just robbed a bank behaves in a “silly and indulgent” way to experience anxiety related to possibly getting caught and put in jail until he actually gets caught.

    Based on your reasoning in the first paragraph, the captain of a ship heading for an iceberg would behave in a “silly and indulgent” manner to experience anxiety or fear and then go to the trouble of changing course in order to avoid it. Indeed, based on your reasoning in the first paragraph, your working to avoid colliding with the bear, which you described in the second paragraph, amounted to “silly and indulgent” behavior because you could not have known that you would actually hit the bear until you hit it.

    Then you wrote, “I think life in the future is going to have a lot of these kinds of encounters. . .”. So, in these encounters, which occur as processes that occur over time, usually over quite long periods of time, WHEN in the process does one best take some kind of action so as to avoid “silly and indulgent” emotional responses or actions? Only AFTER the event has happened, as you stress with your ice cream cone example? We should grieve our own or others dying only after we, or they, have died? Really? With this kind of reasoning and values I cannot imagine your successfully managing to walk across a room, much less ride a bicycle or drive a car across town, so I don’t think that you actually believe what you have written. Perhaps you simply do not experience the emotional responses to various situations that most people experience, so you cannot understand, empathize, or sympathize with other’s emotional responses? Some clarification please?

  • I have explored all options available to me. None work.

    Some friends of mine have teenage and 20-something offspring. They are all aware the system is bollocks and is in the process of crashing but are not aware of NTHE. There is no point in raising it.

    I make comments here but have given up trying to warn people in general about anything. They’re ‘all’ walking around with plugs in their ears and wearing blinkers. And it is now abundantly clear that all our ‘community leaders’ are corrupt, compulsive liars.

    It seems to me we must wait for some kind of local major calamity before enough people will stop believing the nonsense churned out by the politicians and the mainstream media to make a difference. That said, I was asked by an acquaintance whether I would bother to vote at the coming national election. We were in agreement that not voting is the best option, since voting indicates faith in the corrupt system [that we do not have] and that voting makes a difference, [which it clearly does not]. I am hearing such views with increasing frequency.

    Here is another call to revolution which will go largely unnoticed and unheeded:

    http://www.zengardner.com/seizing-control-destinies/

  • @bud Nye
    Gentle! Be gentle there, Bud! Many of todays younger adults have never experienced a loss stronger than, perhaps, a pet. Their emotional experiences have come from the TV and the screen. There is no way to practice “loosing”– it happens from a clear blue sky. In the disruption that is heading our way, even with TV from the scene (before the power fails) one cannot even guess at what shape it will take when they are the victims.

    Practice kindness. Practice being gentle, seek out ways to comfort, offer any kind of aid. Remember that WW2 saying – “all Buddies in a foxhole.”

  • “1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?”

    Most definitely. Thus it is, such it is! The universe is none other the Self.

    “2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?”

    In English. Maybe a phrase or two in Urdu or Bengali.

  • @Queenie:
    My impression was that Bud was addressing two people in particular, not young people in general.
    No offense, but I’ve been hearing your ‘be nice’ line for decades, and where we are now is where it’s gotten us.
    It was a mantra that got picked up by the enemy and was used against us … very effectively I might add. 🙁

    “Pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers.” – William Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar
    ~

  • @Benjamin the Donkey:
    I just received my ‘Limericks of Doom’! Wonderful!!! Thanks for taking the time to put it into book form. Gail’s ‘amazon’ review is spot on:

    Best. Limericks. Of Doom. Ever!

    I think Guy should waive the two posts per day rule for anyone who comments in verse (really just BtD & Cowgirl Haiku (where is she, by the way?)). Think of the fun! If you get into a sparring match with someone & want to really fight it out, you can! The only hitch is you have to craft it into a haiku or limerick or iambic pentameter… Poetic warfare!

    PS. Thanks to all who comment here. I read lots, comment little.
    Also Thanks to Guy. Keep on keepin’ on everyone!

  • 1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?

    Time is a human construct that describes entropy. Since physical and chemical processes that make up our experience are reversible, it is their progression, or overall decay, that provides our perception of time. (e.g., that is why we have never been able to anchor ‘accurate’ time to a physical process whether it be planetary orbits or radioactive decay of atoms.)

    Time travel to the past would be reversal of entropy and time travel to the future would accelerate entropy. So the question is that we have so little entropy left?

    How are we any different in function, purpose, and time we have on this planet than farm animals? We are ‘lucky’ to live large moving energy from high to low states; and then one day we don’t.

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    2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?

    I tell the wife, kids, neighbors, professionals, and many others over and over. Start with the elevator pitch and work in more details as interested is expressed. I have emailed a number of popular bloggers as well. The result? No one seems to believe a word I say. It is just too fantastic for them since they do not understand the significance of the data.

  • @ Bud Nye

    Some people just enjoy wallowing in their sorrow. I would rather take the more constructive route of seeing my children live comfortably into old age, challenging as it may be, without reproducing. After that, lights out for humans, fine, no one will miss them. I don’t think we will experience NTHE, but rather near term human decimation and catastrophe followed by more of the same for at least a couple of centuries. I also don’t understand a cancer lamenting the passing of its parent system. You’re a part of the cancer, I’m a part of the cancer and your great granddaddy was a part of the cancer and we’re still growing exponentially so we can finish off the ecosystem. It’s what we are and what we do. The only thing I would grieve is not protecting my children from the upheavals that are already beginning and which will become vastly worse in the near future. Rather than listen to emotive music or grieve, I would rather spend time in the prefrontal cortex overlaying models to get a good idea of just exactly what we are and where we’re collectively headed so I can move in the opposite direction. I’m not going to be tethered to a bunch of emotional nit-wits that just want to hold hands and wait for the end. “Nit-wit”, sorry if that language is too violent. Perhaps you should get an appointment with your therapist to release some additional emotional flatulence. Hey, just got the bill for the simple removal of three growths from my father’s head, $13,000. now that’s enough to make you cry. Cancer, it’s no damn good, and for the most part neither are humans.

  • A2: I have no other way to live right now. All in all, being fairly happy, go-lucky has worked. I do not keep rage in but I sure laugh a lot more than I scream.

    A3: If a teenager is “old enough” to understand, then what’s the problem? We have large groups of adults who refuse to understand anything, but teenagers can be engaged in conversation. So can children. I don’t know if I would go so far as to tell a ten year old they most likely will never be old enough to legally drink, because there is no point in that. But least you forget, it’s teenagers who are coaxed into the armed forces, teenagers who grace the girly magazines and teenagers who are primary targets of a ruthless consumer culture. Being truthful to teens is fairly mandatory since they’ve lied to for years.

  • “This way”? You mean posting on this forum? 🙂 Sometimes I wonder.

    But most times it’s good to know there’s a set of people who see the seriousness of what is likely to happen given the perturbation of the dynamics of the complex systems we are part of and have influenced.

    As far as my life, as I’ve written here before, I’d not be doing anything today that I’d not be doing otherwise because of looming NTHE. I have perhaps one regret and even that I feel I’ve learnt a lesson from (so perhaps it was something I needed). I try to live life with the attitude that the universe gives us what we need, not what we want. So we’re all where we’re supposed to be (what else can it be). What matters is that we try to remain true to ourselves and I think I’ve done a pretty good job (with one major exception, now rectified).

    My six year old daughter who is super bright understands NTHE as I did when I was that age, perhaps even better. There is a limit but I’m amazed at how much she gets it. She is a happy kid and has a good Zen “live in the moment to enjoy life” attitude about everything.

    My fifteen year old daughter is enjoying her teenage years. My wife tells them both to never have kids. 🙂

    The thing about NTHE I’d like to ask people: what is there to be afraid of or worried about, and what is the point? Death isn’t a big deal to me, never has been. It’s how you live life, the quality of life, that matters. There’s nothing else for you to do except to lead a good life—be kind, compassionate, and gentle.

  • I supposes the first two of these questions so far have been left with vague wording intentionally?

    1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?

    I see lots of ways to interpret this.
    What “way”? Personally I read it as:

    “Most here at NBL accept the reality of NTE, which means we know we have relatively little time left to live. Therefore, do you spend your life the way you really want to based on this knowledge?”

    Absolutely.

    If I am not mistaken I am in the minority here at NBL (under 40 years old) so I am nowhere near an age where I regularly consider my own demise based on natural causes. I mean, I’ve known for 2+ decades now that civilization would crash at some point so it has not all been roses, but that is a far cry from NTE. Learning about this has led me to make major changes in the way I view even the minutiae of daily life. Knowing the worst is coming I appreciate each day and every interaction with those I love all the more now while I still can. I see my peers grasping for material gains or having multiple children but I am happy with what I have and seek out to fully live every moment.

    Yes, NTE knowledge and awareness causes me grief and distress but it has also led to living in the moment and it has therefore vastly improved my life.

    I see others criticizing grief here again, the implication being that it is all there is or somehow shameful or wrong. I already responded to that nonsense when RE said it in another thread and Paul Kingsnorth echoed my statements on his blog nearly exactly recently so I’ll just post that here instead:

    http://dark-mountain.net/blog/five-years-on-a-mountain/

    “3. Grief matters

    We are in an age of climate change and mass extinction and much of this is irreversible. This is what we were given to live through. To be able to look at what the human machine is doing to this living world without feeling grief or despair is an impossibility for anyone who experiences normal human emotions. Grief is not only a natural reaction to the state of the world today, it is a useful one. It is something that should be navigated and understood and accepted and discussed. Like the death of a loved one, the current death of much that is good in the world is something that can’t be denied or wished away: it has to be lived with. It doesn’t follow from that nothing good will ever happen again, or that you can be of no use in the world.”

    Notice that last sentence. Experiencing grief doesn’t mean giving up. It means you are an intelligent being who experiences emotions that should be embraced and shared. We are social animals, sharing emotions is the air we breathe, the paths we walk through life, part and parcel with breaking bread with each other. It is scary to many in the dominant paradigm. In this culture we are taught to be individual and emotionless. Men especially are conditioned not to feel or even acknowledge their emotions. The end result is a culture of patriarchy and war, sexual and domestic abuse, violence on every conceivable level up to and including a culture which values profit over a living planet with the end result being the death of nearly everything on Earth.

    To those conditioned and trapped by this horrible system, afraid or unable to face their own grief in light of NTE, my message would be this: Embrace your social and emotional human nature. Seek out others , like those here, who share in this knowledge and all associated emotions. When you are ready, you will find community far preferable to isolation and fear.

    2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?

    Good question. I only have one direct relative (child of a cousin) who just recently entered the teenage years so they are not yet old enough to understand. I am not sure how you tell anyone about NTE, much less a child barely able to grasp the implications. I’ve had some conversations with family and friends about related issues but never yet about NTE. I’m not sure how to start such a conversation, even with those who acknowledge the world is in very bad shape. I guess the best answer is as others have stated, just be perfectly honest, in the worst situations that’s best thing any of us can do.

  • Don’t bash those who are struggling to come to terms with their own mortality during these end times. We are human beings. I think we’re allowed to grieve, even feel sorry for ourselves, even beg God for help. The human condition and experience is part of life, and you grow inter-personally when you are brave enough to go there, and climb back out. I’d rather fully comprehend the truth and struggle dealing with it, than be blissful and intentionally ignorant.

  • One would think that 36+ million people would be starting to notice that something is seriously wrong.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-01/drought-goes-bad-catastrophic

  • @ Tom, thank you, I really appreciate that!

    @ islandraider, glad you liked the book, and yes, Gail’s review at Amazon is wonderfully favorable!
    ==

    TPTB

    Inequality we do condemn
    And study: from what does it stem?
    While claiming it’s strange,
    We talk about change
    And try to become one of them.

  • Goavs,

    Thanks for the Dark Mountain link. This (somewhat optimistic) comment to the article seemed OK to me:

    “That’s the conclusion I have also reached. Abandon despair and unrealistic dreams as foolish and instead concentrate on the one small part that you can play. None of us will ever know whether our actions have a meaningful effect on building a less destructive future, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t participate. That’s the only hope we have of influencing the narrative of our own culture.”

    From where I’m standing, I also can’t see a future. Which doesn’t make me able to draw a conclusion about it one way or another.

  • Griefwalker: Tim Wilson, 2008, 70 min 9 s

    “This documentary introduces us to Stephen Jenkinson, the leader of a palliative care counselling team at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his daytime job, he has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is “a wretched anxiety and an existential terror” even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life’s mission to change the way we die – to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life.”

  • I’ve always liked to spelunk. Did a lot, caving really, that’s what I called it. Spelunking infers there was a set purpose. I never caved with a set purpose. I just liked to crawl into holes. I liked the cool, the dark and the sounds of earth.
    Yeah, I’m too old to cave, but if I could, I would.

    As for telling a teenager that is ‘old enough to understand’.
    Are any of us old enough to understand.

  • “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  • WE HAVE SO LITTLE TIME LEFT…..DO YOU REALLY WANT TO SPEND IT THIS WAY?

    Reminds me of this essay I wrote about 2 months ago…

    When one considers that the Undistinguished Life of an Industrialised Man in an Industrialised nation consists of about 25,000 Days, and that about 33 to 38 percent of those days are spent in slumber (perhaps 36%), then about 9,000 of those days are spent in Unconsciousness, or Dream State. That gives the Industrialised man about 16,000 waking Days of Life.

    Up to about age 5 or 6, the Industrialised Man spends his time in Childhood ostensibly waiting for the dozen years of minimum, legal Inculcation, or Indoctrination, (depending on perspective) that will launch him into either Secondary Education, or become a future Cog in the Labor Force.

    These first 5 or 6 years can easily contain the paramount 1400 waking days of His life. In the event that he is born into penury, this can also be a time of endless agitation, perturbation, and grief.

    Depending on his social surroundings, and his personal outlook, the individual may easily spend the next dozen years (or less if he drops out) in School or Kinder-prison. Extracting weekends and Summer Vacations, the Industrialised Man has about 1500 waking hour days of Time within the most formative period of his life to pursue Art, Literature, Music, and Nature….Or perhaps instead: TV, Little League, Facebook, and Delinquency.

    Whether he pursues secondary education, or enters directly into the Labor force, the Industrialised Mans next half century (about 11,700 waking hour days) is often spent as follows:

    Approximately 11,000 days will spent in Travail to keep the Industrial Machine turning. While the Industrial Man may enter the cogs of the Machine full of youthful exuberance, as Time wears on, he will find himself spending more and more of those 11,000 waking days doing what he Has to do instead of what he would Choose to do. He may be pressed into working weekends, foreshortening those 3300 waking hour days which comprise 2/7th of 11,000. This two day a week dolor may entail such edifying tasks as mowing the grass, washing the car, driving the family to the local promissory mall, or working on and maintaining his brig so as not to offend the neighborhood inmates by allowing his cell-bloc to sink into proleptic, yet inevitable, dilapidation and squalor. His few remaining non-toiling hours will be typically spent in Transportation Hades to and from the Machine, with perhaps an enervated hour or so of quiescence or inebriation before unconsciousness overtakes him once again. Often his life degenerates slowly into a perdition of Mortgage Serfdom, Automobile Slavery, and Revolving Credit Indenture. Most of these activities are the result of the Industrialised Man’s attempts to assure his Industrialised frienemies, that he is Worthy of being a Cog. If he becomes burdened with brood, or a surfeit of kith and kin, those remaining 3300 waking days are sharply curtailed. It is very likely that less than 1500 of those 3300 waking hour days will actually constitute Worthy Life, and less still if the Man encumbers himself with that second Truck, that Boat, or that Swimming Pool in the backyard which is now replete with leaves, dregs, and sediment from the past several summers of inusitation.

    By the time the Industrialised Man has reached the age of retirement, his body may well be too worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally to spend those remaining 700 (or more) waking hours in pursuit of the dreams of his Youth. This is particularly the case with people who vocations include Mining, Timber, Masonry, Hard Construction, or Heavy Industry. But even these occupations may allow the man to have more chances at seeing Nature (whether He participates or not) than the Cubicle Serf who works for a large Bank, Insurance, or Law office. In fact, either may find that His recompense for all those years of thralldom to the Machine constitute little more than incarceration in a panopticon of Skilled Nursing, with all his hard earned assets confiscated to remunerate his captors.

    The average Industrialised Man with 25,000 days on this planet, may easily secure only about 4500 waking hour days of beneficial Life. Perhaps 20 or 25 percent of his life if he is providential ….but if a member of the Lumpen-proletariat, or a Laborer, he may avail less than Ten percent of his waking adult hours for cogitation, orison, or laxity.

  • NTHE questions # 1,2&3

    What are we going to do?
    What are we going to do?
    What are we going to do?

    Answer:

    DIE!

    Reality is so exciting.

  • TR: Yeah, but before death is the LIVING. Why not LIVE WELL?

  • As far as such things can be dispassionately quantified, corporeal existence is perhaps upwards of ninety percent drudgery and violence. The remainder, which you could call ‘life’, consists of the various stratagems- both ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’- for forgetting this, which stratagems, presumably, played a large part in any ‘decision’ to bequeath this experience to another generation?

    What to tell that generation? Well, you may have got yourself in checkmate. You could start by coming clean about your own motivations, insofar as you are aware of them, for attempting to ensure the continuation of this state of affairs?

    “2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?”

    I have zero experience of telling teenagers anything, or desire to do so. I’d speculate, or at least, ‘hope’ that they are sensibly resistant to accepting unsolicited information from routine-agers. Imo you would make a better start by asking them than by telling them? Just off the top of my head: “What do you think the future is going to be like?”

  • ” Just off the top of my head: “What do you think the future is going to be like?”

    If they tell you faster cars and more gadgets, what do you say?

  • @ Wren and Queenie:

    Correct, Wren. I meant my comments only to two people in particular, certainly not to young people in general. I did not feel any irritation with Queenie’s apparent misunderstanding, but thanks for clarifying; I had no idea that anyone might misunderstand. This reminds me of a point that my favorite clinical psychologist, Albert Ellis, used to emphasize: “We do WELL to please half the people, half the time!” No matter WHAT we may do, some people will like it, and some won’t, so we best not drive ourselves crazy trying to please everyone all of the time–a decidedly irrational, self-defeating goal.

    @ James:

    You wrote: “Some people just enjoy wallowing in their sorrow.” Really? I have five questions regarding this statement and other things you wrote: (1) How do you come by this alleged knowledge concerning grieving people? (2) Having received this (alleged) special knowledge, what qualifications do you have, either professionally or, more fundamentally, just as a human being, to predetermine the pathway, the duration, and/or the intensity of anyone else’s emotional pain, physical pain, or their grief work? (3) Why do you assume that others should or must respond to the very high probability of NTHE, or near extinction, as you prefer to respond? (4) If you do not want to find yourself “…tethered to a bunch of emotional nit-wits that just want to hold hands and wait for the end”, what prompts you to read and comment here at NBL where so many of we “emotional nit-wits” presumably produce so much “emotional flatulence”? Finally, (5) What motivates your apparent “need” to use your disrespectful language and ad hominem attacks with others?

    @ Robin Datta:

    Yes, excellent documentary. I think that a large part of this culture’s death taboo—our pathological avoidance and denial of death—grows directly out of our profound disconnection and alienation from the real world: the biological reality that we grew out of and that keeps us alive. Only a tiny percentage of people seem to grasp how life depends on death, the reciprocally interactive interdependence of the two sides of the same coin. Perhaps most often around the world, a large percentage of us express our denial of death as a natural part of life through the wishful belief, the “hopium”, that if we will just live according to some “correct” set of rules, then we won’t REALLY die because our consciousness, our “soul”, will then, presumably, live forever in “heaven”. In this way, many people live much, if not most of their lives, out of touch with life, out of touch with and alienated from biological reality. To paraphrase “Griefwalker” Stephen Jenkinson: Your job involves learning to love all things as though they will not last—because they won’t. Not just accept the transience. That has too much neutrality. You have to love it. A related critical question looks like this: How do you carry knowing that you will die with you every moment of every day, not as a hypothetical, but as a given, personal necessity? I think that we need to feel willing for life to exist in a much bigger way than just our lifespan, or our children’s, or even our specie’s. Few of us in this human supremacist, pathologically narcissistic culture seem willing or able to do that.

  • off topic:
    How can anyone expect US Gov to condemn IDF for killing innocent civilians, old, handicapped and children when they have done the same many times?

  • 1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?

    There are many ways in which I spend time that I am questioning and letting fall by the wayside. There are also things that were on the “someday” list that are now on the “now” list. I also am having a much easier time not involving myself in people dramas of the He said/She said variety. It all just flows away into the vast river of soon to be forgotten Human stupidity.

    2.How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?

    THE DODO,THE AUK,THE T REX

    ARE ALL GONE,AND HUMANS ARE NEXT

    IT’S THE END OF OUR SCENE

    AND IF YOU MUST TELL A TEEN

    YOUR BEST BET – SEND THEM A TEXT

    But seriously, I say tell it like it is. Or as 18000 days suggest, Ask it like it is. Give them other sources to look at themselves.
    I have told the teenagers and the parents of said teens in my extended family the basics and also gave them the information to understand that choices they make have an effect in the world and that they actually can choose something different that their peers. Especially when it comes to the blind choices teens and their parents make about college.

  • @Bud Nye

    I’ve read a lot of blogs, contribute to a few, looking for any bit of information that would allow me to amend the model of this world I’ve worked on for many years. Not much new recently. I just feel that a blog that deals with NTHE should be much meatier with rational argument, but the participants here only seem interested in self-indulgent emotional reactions. “It’s all over, let’s just start on our five stages of acceptance and get on with it.” Feel free to give up, the world may be better without you, but it is undoubted that our ancestors came through every one of the past “extinctions” and it’s likely that some humans may survive this one. I will have to say that if all you are equipped with are negative emotions, then your chances are very slim. Perhaps you’re being emotionally primed for a big Jim Jones Kool-Aide party or a Heaven’s Gate voyage to the stars and I’m sure, with your preordained attitude, that you will drink the cyanide punch like thirsty frat boys.

    I guess you have to decide whether you’re a nit-wit or not. If you spend a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter sharing your emotions, you’re probably a nit-wit, IMO. Just because you exist doesn’t mean you deserve respect. I guess, as per Guy’s recommendation, you are pursuing a life of “excellence” in grieving or in helping nit-wits realize that they really are biological entities and they’ve blown it.

  • If anyone has any interest, I have posted the following comment at Fractal Planet:

    Lewis,

    Thanks so much for your mature, respectful, thought provoking request. Correct. I have not “put them to use” (complexity theory and nonequilibrium thermodynamics) beyond pointing to their relevance to the conversation here, which relevance seems pretty obvious to me, and I should think to you as well.

    I have not tried to put them to more specific use for two main reasons. First, as I think I suggested in my last comment, here, though I may have the intelligence (and that, of course, remains questionable), I don’t think that I have the education or experience competently to do it. I have only recently learned about the general complexity theory and nonequilibrium thermodynamics concepts. I have not learned them in any great depth, I do not have a Ph.D. in either of those fields, nor have I done any research based on them. Related to this, does my lack of competency to apply complexity theory and nonequilibrium thermodynamics make my discussion-process-oriented points, here, any less valid, or make me “a fake” for raising these issues and questions? I don’t think so, and I don’t think any reasonable person would think so either.

    Second, I don’t have any great interest in arguing the more detailed, finer points precisely because I recognize and accept Earth’s climate and biosphere as a complex, unpredictable, and irreversible system (definitely NOT “just physics”–the limited physics of Bacon, Descartes, and Newton–as Scott Johnson insists), I see plenty of compelling evidence that major, reciprocally interactive, complex Earth processes have started changing rapidly (VERY rapidly when considered on a geological time scale), and I do NOT view these global-scale processes exclusively through a way over-simplistic, naïve, Cartesian-Newtonian lens such that, presumably, by learning more about this “mechanism” or that one, we can then, supposedly, dominate or “control” Earth, reliably predict what will or will not soon happen, or “reverse” the near certain self-annihilation trap that we have created for ourselves and most or all other life on the planet. Earth’s biosphere simply does not work as a Cartesian clock-work mechanism, all of our collective wishful thinking notwithstanding, and a narrow-focused, exclusively Cartesian-Newtonian approach almost certainly will not help us in any useful way, other than, perhaps, to help some of us feel good while the planet burns. (This need to feel good while presumably, or hopefully, controlling Earth, I think accounts for much of the emotional, ad hominem attacks that occur here so often.)

    It seems to me that all climate change researchers, policy makers, and others discussing these issues need to learn about and take the unpredictable, irreversible nature of these complex systems into account, and it strikes me as a naïve agenda, indeed, to attempt to “scientifically prove” Guy McPherson’s evidence reporting “wrong” while ignoring and/or denying the relevance of the principles of complexity theory and nonequilibrium thermodynamics, while ALSO claiming, presumably, to “do good science”. I wonder about the extent to which this kind of Cartesian thinking discussion occurs as a set-up and justification for implementing high-profit, corporate geoengineering schemes needed to “fix” Earth and “make the planet smarter”, as IBM wishes to, and supposedly can, do.

    In short, I don’t see how MY lack of intelligence and/or education relieves those who DO have the needed intelligence and education from the responsibility of using them here and elsewhere to integrate complexity theory and nonequilibrium thermodynamics into the discussion instead of denying their relevance and avoiding them as so often happens here while maintaining a naïve, exclusive focus on Cartesian-Newtonian reasoning and evidence. To follow up on your interest in more specifics, The Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences (IC3) http://www.ic3.cat/openbox.php?menu=95&area=56 serves as just one complexity and climate focused source. Google searches, of course, will also give access to much climate-related complexity and chaos theory research.

  • Nothing deep today.

    1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?

    Yes. I’m perfectly content with how I’m spending my time. This wasn’t the case a few years ago, but in that interval my existential terror has subsided and I can now get on with simply living my life. Doing my work, loving my wife, enjoying my friends and family, chopping some wood and carrying some water. This is more than enough. There is plenty of time left to enjoy the small miracles and challenges that are at my fingertips.

    2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?

    I don’t tell anyone any more, no matter what their age. I see no point in being so unkind. The farthest I go now is to re-post marker articles on FB. Those who are attuned to the state of the world will hear what I’m saying, and as a result ask questions that I will answer to the best of my ability.

  • thestormcrow — Brilliant as ever, my friend!

    1. I’m pretty much doing exactly what I want, with time being the limiting factor. A bit more $ would help, but I’ve always been a budgeter. With my own families now grown, being an “uncle” who helps some very fine but poor families with their struggles (and paying for some of their enjoyments) satisfies me very much. Not to mention the side benefits.

    If I think of a better way to enjoy life, I’ll let you know. BTW, hanging out here with caring, intelligent people is a MUST in any scenario of my future. Visiting people in hospice and rehab is also one of my intentions.

    2. I think one of the vicarious sides of knowing people, teenagers among them, who “don’t know” is to enjoy their innocence of this danger, while it lasts. Unless you’re going to do something to distance them from the near-term dangers, why talk about it?

    I was proud to take my daughters to Nuclear Disarmament marches or rallies, and to Occupy gatherings. Show them actions, not just words. Even if it ends up just a gesture against powers whose evil is just too much for us.

    We went home from school several days in October, 1962, telling our friends, “See you tomorrow. Maybe.” Our parents? Absent on this. Clueless. Useless.

    I was waiting for an elevator this morning with some of Godofredo’s neighbors, and got a very quick climate overview from them. As you may guess, this interests me.

  • I find the people who want to detach from their emotional selves funny. This is exactly how humanity got into this mess – by denigrating nature, our natural selves and our interconnectedness to go off denying feelings and just bulldoze everything needed for life, including other people, other species, and for what? Some kind of superficial intellectual masturbation that tells us how happy these material things make us, how happy it is to dominate those Others who are so stupid. We can’t separate our physical selves from our emotional selves. That’s death. humans have quite often valued our reasoning and logic and science above emotion. Just in time for us to see how stupid we are, science is discovering what the use of those emotions were and how critical to happiness and survival those irrational emotional responses were. Too bad. I get to live in the moment, be happy sometimes, grieve sometimes, and laugh my a$$ off at the people who sneer at the very reasons humanity got here and why we are all here on this site, not even seeing the origin of it all in themselves. Happy karma!

  • this plan (solution) may have worked 20 years ago—but hey, why not?
    When being kind means breaking their shit.
    Although, I do like DGR.

  • Tom’s comments resonated with me “…realistically I have limited avenues to pursue and will continue my journey within.” And recommitting myself to “being there” and “doing for” those I love.

  • “Happy karma!”

    ‘Tain’t happy or unhappy. Its consequences, whether immediate to delayed, are pleasant or unpleasant.

    “if we will just live according to some “correct” set of rules, then we won’t REALLY die because our consciousness, our “soul”, will then, presumably, live forever in “heaven”.”

    The “forever” is Abrahamic. Other traditions view all the heavens and all the hells (seven of each in the Vedic tradition) as motels on the journey. The journey ends when the journeyer is recognised to be a delusion/mirage: then there is no one to journey. The karmic account also becomes unclaimed. Even though many actions may be done, no new vouchers for consequences are generated since without the “I” there is no sense of “”I” am the doer”. Once the vouchers enqueued for encashment are exhausted, the embodiment ends: the soul having been already recognised as ever non-existent, and only a mirage, that mirage ends. Buddhism is bold enough to call out the mirage up front, even when most cannot recognise or accept it as a mirage.

  • Q2: 1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?

    While I would like to see this question worded differently, or rather more specifically as to what is meant by “this way”, I can only presume as to what is being asked, which I take as ‘corresponding about NTE at NBL’?

    And if that’s the case, then that is a very important question, given it underlies pretty much everything we share in this space.

    So asked differently, what purpose is NBL serving? Who is it serving? Because if it’s not providing anything to anyone, then yes, reading and writing here would be time better spent doing something else.

    But once the blip of NTE finally moves onto your objective radar, it pretty much outshines everything else and becomes nearly impossible to either ignore or forget. However, this is true if and only if, “you” are in a position to fully internalize it. For many of us here, NBL is the only place in which “we” can openly discuss this unprecedented phenomena without having to continually defend ourselves, as well as observable reality against an endless stream of abject denial and cultural obfuscation.
    And we would have to look no further than the silly comments above from James to find an example of someone who clearly should find other ways of spending his limited time.

    There’s a very long list of names who have come through this space over the years, where they were clearly exercising a deep seeded emotional response which NTE naturally triggers, and where they have felt compelled to antagonistically act out, using identical language to express very predictable opposition. At first, it was to be expected, such a controversial issue obviously elicits emotional strife, given NTE runs contrary to pretty much everyone’s vested interests. But now, with at least two years behind us, we all have to ask ourselves what is it we are doing here now that we have pretty much combed through the sand at the beach of doom.

    Can NBL serve young parents, probably not, which is why there are very few here. Can NBL serve those who are inclined to survive at all cost, absolutely not, which is why we are constantly beleaguered by the James’s of the world. However, can it serve childless individuals, those who have the opportunity/luxury/privilege/freedom to contemplate such matters, absolutely! Can it serve those who are near or above retirement age, of course, which is why most here fall into that category, especially, those of us who are in some way philosophically oriented towards THE ALL THAT IS. Because once one empathically comes to terms with all the grief/guilt/sadness/depression/despair that we’ve destroyed not only our home, but most of life on earth, we (those able to afford an internet connect) are able to see that we are living through the greatest philosophical moment in human history, and in my opinion, that is the greatest gift NBL provides…………some of us.

    In other words, if the shoe doesn’t fit, keep looking until you find one that does.

    Q3: How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?

    Well, since I personally know of no adults who are fully capable of internalizing it, though virtually everyone I know believe they are, like many here, I no longer make the effort. I’ve too many burned bridges behind me to have not learned that painful lesson.

    Yes, I do continue to ‘go fishing’ with key words and concepts to see if strangers/acquaintances bite, but at this point, contemplating the ethics of lying to those under 18 might be more compassionate.

    Precocious teens who are capable of seeing what is coming, will see it for themselves, and will already be asking the right questions, where such weighted thought generally tends to gravitate towards each other. If they are ready to hear it, you’ll know, but if it’s questionable, best to just leave that book out in the open, and wait to see who is curious enough to pick it up.

  • @Daniel

    You are correct. Spending time in this echo chamber of doom isn’t furthering my goals. I was just hoping someone would chime-in with something intelligent and useful, but mostly what I’ve read is drivel. I don’t know why Guy does it. Ruppert never could get the “ka-ching” going with his efforts, and they were substantial. Not much dopamine in doom, no sales, no interest, no money. Al Gore seems to have had the proper strategy, appearing to be fully engaged with environmental affairs while playing footsie with the big cable companies to pick up his little station and then selling his interest to Qatar for 100 million dollars. Nothing is going to change, just some people will perish later and less miserably than others. You can sit and listen to Guy read from the Bible of Doom on the deck of the Titanic, but I see there are still a few seats remaining on that lifeboat. Enjoy the remainder of your cruise.

  • During the British Raj in India, there were clubs staffed by Indian cooks and janitors for the rulers that had signs posted “Dogs and Indians not allowed”, some of which were seen by my father in his earliest days. I am told that there were similar clubs in the American South in my lifetime, except that the excluded had larger helpings of melanin.

    With Near Term Extinction, Club Earth will have in effect signs posted “Dogs, and non-extremophiles not allowed”. Or perhaps “Dogs and vertebrates not allowed”. Or in the case of NTHE, “Humans not allowed”.

    If one can adjust one’s world-view to acknowledge Hotel Earth as a metaphor and human as a temporary identity, then NTE is no big deal.

    This is just another stop on the journey. The real big deal would be reaching the end of the journey, regardless of in which universe that ending happens.

  • I constantly find myself in the pattern of telling people in the ‘hope against hope’ that if enough people understand the dire gravity, it will spark something in our evolution, depress enough folks and stall the economy, or who knows what else. But basically I know these notions are silly, because if you have ever known an addict, it doesn’t matter whether they ‘get it’ or not. Their behavior will continue while the substance of choice is available. Time to put down the cards and now witness the great winding down.

  • Bailey, I think the metaphor of addiction is really apropos for the fossil fuel use situation. And the addict is trying to taper down and go cold turkey at some point but finding it difficult to do so. And you know, addicts do change after hitting their bottom (so-called “rock bottom”). I think that’s what it will take, and I think rock bottom in our case is the Arctic sea ice melting away. By then, will it be too late or not is going to be the issue.

    Here’s another question: if the Arctic sea ice completely melted away and changed our climate, and then humans stopped using fossil fuels 100% right away (cold turkey). Would they survive (keeping in mind the 40 year lag)? I think this is a possibility. But the earth will be radically different and the climate system would’ve transited into a new state.

    I don’t know if the Arctic ice melting away is what will wake up humanity but the sooner that happens, the better it is overall I think. So it looks like this year won’t be the year where it becomes ice free in the summer.

  • 1. We have so little time left. Do you really want to spend it in this way?

    How little time? 10 years? 20? 30?

    If it is more than 20, I have Zero chance of living longer than that no matter what. Even 10 years is 50-50 for me.

    Far as how you spend the time you have left goes, that is constrained by your circumstances.

    Would I have preferred to live say 500 years ago before the Industrial Revolution? Depends where and under what circumstances. Being born a slave certainly would not have been good circumstance.

    20,000 years ago prior to the Ag revolution seems from a distance to have been a good time to have lived under most circumstances of the era, but I’m sure those folks had their problems too.

    At least as far as my memory goes, I don’t remember living either 500 or 20,000 years ago, though I might have. I do remember my current incarnation, which has had its up days and down days. You play the hand you are dealt, until you run out of cards.

    **

    2. How do you tell teenage children who are old enough to understand?

    First off, you can’t tell teenagers anything unless you are another teenager. They have to figure things out for themselves.

    Second, precisely what is it you are going to tell them? Homo Sapiens is going extinct? When exactly? 10, 20, 30 years?

    If it is more than 10 years, that is past the horizon most teenagers worry about anyhow. The response you would get is, “Yea OK Dad. Can I borrow the car keys? I got a hot date tonight.”

    More difficult would be how to tell your 20-30 something kids, who may already have their own or may have some soon, contemplating marriage etc.

    Are you going to tell them not to marry because they are going to die soon? Don’t have kids because they will die soon? How soon? 10, 20, 30…?

    Generally speaking, I think the better thing to be talking to your kids about is exactly what the best way to negotiate the next 10, 20, 30 years are, whether it ends in Extinction or Bottleneck. Where to live, what skills to have, how to avoid conscription etc. For a teenager, I think the #1 problem they will be faced with here before all Humanity gets wiped out is getting drafted into war machine.

    RE

  • @Artleads:
    “If they tell you faster cars and more gadgets, what do you say?”

    Depending on your interlocutor, that could either be a sophisticated and sardonic projection of BAU, or a banal and almost thought-free projection of BAU, so I guess you have to make an assessment, and frame your response accordingly? I’m not going to be very good at guessing a series of responses in an imaginary conversation with an unknown adolescent, Artleads, but if you want to play, I’ll respond to your gambit, (knowing I’m going to end up check-mated): “Is that your ideal, the future you want, or just the future you think you’re likely to have to tolerate?”

  • A little more about the latest in the Death Vectors, Ebola Virus.
    Ebola: I See Dead People

    Stock up on Activated Charcoal and CDC suits.

    RE

  • http://dutchsinse.tatoott1009.com/8032014-4-4-billion-to-dismantle-nuclear-plant-in-california-san-onofre-money-pit/

    8/03/2014 — 4.4 BILLION to dismantle nuclear plant in California – San Onofre ‘money pit’

    Turns out there is one thing deeper than a nuclear China syndrome event…….. its called a ‘money pit’.

    The only thing deeper than the nuclear money pit, is the national deficit black hole.

    We’re nearing ‘event horizon’ in case you haven’t noticed.

    4.4 billion dollars to dismantle the flawed, outdated, and dangerous San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Diego California.

    “Dismantling the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California will take two decades and cost $4.4 billion, but spent radioactive fuel will be held at the site indefinitely, according to a game plan from Southern California Edison.

    The price tag could make it the most expensive decommissioning in the 70-year history of the nuclear power industry, U-T San Diego reported (http://bit.ly/1oZUoTU ).

    The plant was shut down in 2012 after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of extensive damage to steam-generator tubes that carried radioactive water. Edison, which operated the plant, closed it for good last year.

    On Friday, the utility laid out a draft plan for dismantling the twin reactors and restoring the property north of San Diego over two decades, beginning in 2016. [there are a few more details]

    James:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j0p9Ar0Pc4&list=UUAHmI3MPpk5h2DzcseyXAgw

  • http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-aug-1-2014-there-is-a-major-shift-afoot/

    Debt Rattle Aug 1 2014: There is a Major Shift Afoot

    Oil prices are dropping as Exxon announces a -5.7% plunge in output. And as Shell, as I said yesterday, can think of nothing better to do with its remaining funds than to spend it on share buybacks and dividends. Perhaps shareholders should take the money and run. Because what sort of future can they expect for a company that acts like that?

    Western oil companies have tens of billions invested in Russian projects they may or may not have access to anymore now the sanctions are coming into effect. The scourge of insecurity. Never good for industry, never good for markets. Prices will rise again, and a lot, just ask Putin, but that doesn’t take away the insecurity over Big Oil’s chances of – even medium term – survival.

    The BLS jobless report came in quite a bit less sunny than hoped and expected (unemployment rose to 6.2%, only 209K jobs created), but it would be good to realize that the importance of the report has fallen substantially lately. There will be many, many people in the finance world who are going to get burned because they don’t acknowledge that, or at least not rapidly enough.

    While Janet Yellen can perhaps change course by a few degrees in the face of less than sparkly numbers, it’ll still be steady as she blows. Wages didn’t move one bit, nor did part-time jobs, and Yellen did hint at making those numbers more important, but then again the participation rate squeezed up by 0.1%, so those who want to see silver linings don’t have to look that far. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

    The failure – whether intentional or not – of the Fed’s multi-trillion stimulus is now plain for everyone to see. Yellen is not going to fool anyone with another trillion. The next FMOC meeting may announce a temporary taper hiccup, but what use would it be in the face of the past 5-6 years of not achieving much of anything for Main Street with the printer working both day and night shifts?

    It’s of course nice, or funny, or hilarious, to see that while GDP rises 4.0% (well, in the first estimate only), the unemployment rate goes up. Upside down Bizarro.

    Still, as I’ve noted repeatedly over the course of the last two weeks, what will drive US financial policy as we move forward has much less to do than before with domestic issues, and much more with global ones. That this will throw Americans in front of the steamroller (even more than before) is being taken for granted, and has been ‘absorbed’ into policy making.

    The lure, and the advantages, of forcing the entire planet to fight over, and give up much more than before for, US dollars, have won the day. Undoubtedly not a rash decision, but something that’s been decided behind the curtains way back when everyone was still focused on other things. Like the recovery that never came.

    This perhaps becomes easier to understand when you take a good look at that -5.7% fall in Exxon output. And the $110 billion that the shale industry comes up short every single year. What numbers like these spell out is the end of an era, the end of our way of life, perhaps the end of our societies as they exist today.

    That end won’t come tomorrow morning, but the combination of rising demand and shrinking supply of fossil fuels points to one single and inescapable conclusion: we will need to divide what’s left, and being the humans that we are, that means we’re going to do the dividing by fighting over it. No prisoners.

    And while there will be many physical proxy battles over oil and gas, just watch Ukraine, the first major battles will take place in the financial world. Having everyone and their pet poodle scramble to get hold of your particular currency is a mighty mighty weapon in those financial battles.

    There are a numbers of goals in this for the people who’ve taken over, and factually run, America: make sure you get as much of what’s left of the fossil fuels as possible, and make sure others get as little as possible. But also: make sure less of it is used going forward, and store the difference under your own control. That goes both internationally, where you make nations and their citizens poorer so they can afford to buy less fuel, and domestically, where you make Americans themselves poorer so they will drive and heat and cool less.

    Making Americans poorer may seem a bit counterintuitive in what is still in name a democracy – how to still get their votes? -, but when you start from the realization that shrinking energy supplies automatically mean a shrinking economy, and an end to the growth model the country is based on, in which at present everything needs to be borrowed because far too little is being produced, it all makes a lot more sense.

    There is a major shift afoot, or actually already behind us, and unemployment numbers are now but an immaterial little sideshow the media put on. And no matter how many of those 4.0% GDP growth numbers you see, make no mistake: from now on, the -5.7% Exxon output number is much more important. That’s what will drive US policy going forward.

    The taper will continue, far fewer dollars will be available globally and domestically, interest rates will rise, as will unemployment and foreclosures. Oil prices will suffer at first from falling international demand, but with supply falling just as fast not too long from today, we will be looking at $200. And then some.

    The more the US fails internally, the more it will chest thump abroad. And with both the reserve currency and the by far largest weapons arsenals, it has extremely powerful tools to thump its chest with. Both at home and abroad.

  • Robin says: “If one can adjust one’s world-view to acknowledge Hotel Earth as a metaphor and human as a temporary identity, then NTE is no big deal.”

    And yeah, if all this climate chaos was going to single out the human race for extinction I could get behind that.

    The human race is busy trying to wipe out animals all over the globe and now, thanks to runaway climate change, not only do we get to kill ourselves, we get to kill just about everything.

    That’s the source of my anguish. If it was just you and me and RE croaking, who would care? But also lions and tigers and bears? What a shitty pathetic loathsome useless deadly parasite we are. Absolutely no sympathy for the collapse of the US, but tons of woe for songbirds and the trees.

  • Arctic Emergency: Scientists Speak

    This film brings you the voices of climate scientists – in their own words.

  • @ James:

    You changed the subject and did not respond to my questions, so I will ask again, plus one more: (1) How do you come by this “wallowing in their sorrow” knowledge concerning grieving people? (2) Having received this (alleged) special knowledge, what qualifications do you have, either professionally or, more fundamentally, just as a human being, to predetermine the pathway, the duration, and/or the intensity of anyone else’s emotional pain, physical pain, or their grief work? (3) Why do you assume that others should or must respond to the very high probability of NTHE, or near extinction, as you prefer to respond? (4) If you do not want to find yourself “tethered to a bunch of emotional nit-wits that just want to hold hands and wait for the end”, what prompts you to read and comment here at NBL where so many of us “emotional nit-wits” presumably produce so much “emotional flatulence”? (5) What motivates your apparent “need” to use your disrespectful language with others? Finally, (6) How do you conclude that I, or anyone else who comments here, presumably “comes equipped with only negative emotions”? Do you have such a disconnection from emotions that you do not know that one’s doing their grief work leads, not to anger, anxiety, sadness, or depression, but to much greater happiness, love, and peace? Or, do you, perhaps, simply experience little or no emotion, unlike about 99% of other humans?

    @ Bailey:

    Great analogy! I have thought for over a year that, actually, the situation has much more severity than that of an addiction. How so? With proper treatment we can help addicts end their addiction. Meanwhile, we have, as a global, industrial civilization become significantly more physically dependent on cheap energy than addicts ever do to their drug(s). But here, I just split hairs.

  • I’ve posted a new essay. It’s a dialog between another writer and me, and it’s here.

  • 18000days Says:

    “Is that your ideal, the future you want, or just the future you think you’re likely to have to tolerate?”

    I had in mind my very real grandson, who as a small child liked cars. I never found out what kinds of cars. He never responded regarding the images of very old (late 1920s) cars I sent him. Given the people around him, I doubt that he’s ever heard of the environment, much less climate change. I doubt that he’d be into philosophizing in any way, so I favor RE’s take on the subject. I’m guessing I’d have to start with very basic questions–like, what do you like to do? But he’s very far away. Meantime, I’m thinking to send him more images of old cars…

  • Tom — thanks so much for posting Max’s video. So few families that I know of today have a 2nd generation member continuing in peace, justice, and environmental efforts, as is Max, whether we are to take pride in this, or merely consolation. Well done, Max!

    I’ll just drop in my “What is to be done?” template one more time, especially for those who don’t believe we are already 70% triggered for extinction, your efforts should be tripled, no?

    1. Carrot: All public transport to be free.

    2. Stick: All new gasoline powered vehicle sales to be stopped, by whomever, however. Also, their movements stopped, with increasing intensity, by whomever, however.

    3. Re-forestation of present meat-producing lands, with the fastest growing carbon sequestering trees/plants.

    4. Coal? Well, you write your own script here. Me, I see tumbrels…

    More than 60% of the world’s people have never driven/never will drive a car, burn coal, or eat very much meat. Climate Justice is to focus on the rest.

  • @ Henry

    No roads mean no cars. 🙂

  • ‘ THE DODO,THE AUK,THE T REX

    ARE ALL GONE,AND HUMANS ARE NEXT

    IT’S THE END OF OUR SCENE

    AND IF YOU MUST TELL A TEEN

    YOUR BEST BET – SEND THEM A TEXT’ -the stormcrow

    btd couldn’t have said it any better, stormcrow. btw, btd, congrats on your book publication. too bad your niche market is so miniscule. well, who knows? one day u may have your 15 minutes of relative fame, just before everything goes completely to hell, as more sheeple get a last minute clue of our predicament/fate, and find your poetry.

    as for talking to teens, the same applies to ‘adults’. individuals are different. if they possess rare intelligence and rationality, if their minds aren’t addled by dogmas, chances are they already have a clue. if not, chances are trying to give them a clue will fail. in which case, u’re in a no win situation. keep your mouth shut or blab; either way, u lose. pick your poison.

  • artleads — bridges, bitchez! (that is, if y’all out there had ever been really serious about, uh, uh, uh, uh, stayin’ alive)